Mastering the Farmers’ Market

Farmers’ markets have a great deal of fresh, seasonal, and locally produced foods. Plus, there is usually one within 20 minutes from your house and you may not even know it! I love Farmers’ markets because I love doing my grocery shopping outside on a nice morning and it’s usually less expensive than the local grocery store.

Farmers’ markets deliver a shopping experience where you can control what type of food you’re putting in your body with the ease of knowing the produce is supporting great people and justifiable making methods. Also, most markets are high quality, clean, local, have organic produce, meats, and breads! Personally, I love talking to the owners of the booths at the markets; they are so creative, passionate, and full of useful information!

Here are a few of my tidbits for mastering the farmers’ market…

Arrival Time – By arriving early you are able to get your hands on the freshest produce and the hard to find seasonal item before it’s picked over. However, if you’re really looking for a deal, consider going near closing time. Famers/Sellers would rather make a deal than having to haul the product back home.

Shop Around – At farmers’ markets, you will find with the season a great deal of farmers/sellers will have the same product. I personally take one lap before I make my purchases so I know I am getting the best deal.

Don’t Be Shy – Since the growers are right there, ask them questions: How was this grown? How is it best prepared? What’s your favorite recipe? You never know till you ask.

Get Dirty – Organic produce won’t always look as beautiful as when it is in the grocery market; a little dirt won’t hurt you, just be sure to rinse well. However, if you are not using the produce right away, don’t wash it. Washing produce before storing could promote bacterial growth and make it soft quicker than you might like. I always recommend waiting to wash fruits and vegetables just before use.