Here are some useful tips for shopping at the Farmers Market
Try Something New
Buy something you haven’t tried before. The Farmers’ Market is the perfect place to learn more about food, if you make the effort. Never tried kohlrabi? A vendor can tell you how to select and prepare it.
Make sure to ask questions of the vendors when you see unfamiliar produce. Vendors and farmers love to share their knowledge and can even give you plenty of recipes and cooking tips.
Know Your Seasons
If you know a little about what to expect at market then making decisions about what foods to buy are much easier. Learn what grows in your area, become familiar with the vegetables of each season, and talk with growers about what’s coming to market over the next few weeks.
Go Early or Late
The market is less crowded right when it opens or just before it close, but for the best selection of produce and the freshest produce, go early.
Bring Your Own Bags
A reusable shopping bag gives you a place to store all of your purchases without having to juggle multiple plastic bags. As well, it cuts down on waste by reducing the amount of bags you need.
Think Over Meals Ahead of Time
Since you know what you’re likely to find at the market, you can do a bit of meal planning and shop accordingly. Come to market with some ideas about what to cook, but always be open to spontaneity and the creative substitution of ingredients depending on season and availability.
Think “Whole Foods”
Think in terms of how food grows and comes to the market without being processed first. Carrots are sold whole and unpeeled. Beets still have greens (and sometimes dirt) attached. Learning to handle just-harvested produce can take some getting used to, but the superior flavor is well worth the adjustment.
Shop with Friends or Family
Going to the farmers market is always more enjoyable when shopping with company. There’s always the possibility for running into new recipe ideas, collaborative dinners and the possible discount for buying bulk and then splitting up the bounty between friends.