How to navigate the farmers market like a pro

The farmers market is one of the best places to scoop up delicious foods while supporting local farms and businesses. Whether you’re a farmers market aficionado or a beginner looking to try something new, we’ve put together some tips to help make your farmers market experience the best it can be.

  • Make a game plan
    • Before you go, do some research on what’s in season locally and how to select your produce. Be sure to know what different types of produce look like at their peak in terms of size, color and markings.
    • Decide what time is best for you to visit the market. Going early will give you options for the freshest produce, but visiting later in the day might yield discounts on items vendors want to unload before closing.
  • Come prepared
    • Preparation is key when visiting the farmers market. Come ready with reusable bags, cash (small bills especially), and a cooler to keep your goodies fresh for the ride home. Research the best way to store your fruits and veggies to prolong the life of your purchases. There’s nothing worse than buying delicious fresh food only to have it spoil before you eat it!
  • Take a lap
    • Prior to buying anything, do a lap around the market to see what’s available. Comparing quality and prices beforehand will help you make smarter purchases.
  • Ask questions
    • Don’t be shy! Farmers and vendors typically love to talk to customers, so feel free to ask any questions you may have. You may want to ask where their produce grown, how it was treated, the best way to store it and ways to use the produce in meals or recipes.
  • Keep an open mind
    • Think you don’t like rutabagas or Brussels sprouts? Think again! How food is prepared can make a big difference, so get suggestions from vendors on their favorite ways to cook with fruits and veggies. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things—what you like may surprise you!

Use these handy suggestions to help make your trip to the farmers market as fruitful and fun as possible. Have some tips of your own? Let us know in the comments!