Getting the Most out of the Farmers Market

Farmers Market Tips

While summer is rife with fun family activities, one of our favorites has to be hitting up our community farmers markets. Besides being a great way to get outside and interact with your community, farmers markets are the perfect way to load up on fresh, locally grown produce that’s good for your health and your budget.

Why Shop at Farmers Markets?
  1. Try new fruits and vegetables You’ll be surrounded by a plethora of ripe and delectable fruits and vegetables that you wouldn’t necessarily try otherwise. Rhubarb? Bok Choy? Try it out and find a new favorite food!
  2. Buy freshly picked food at its peak in flavor and nutrition You’ll have access to the freshest food around, making it easy and delicious to fill your plate with the full spectrum of nutritional goodness your body needs.
  3. Get the kids involved Farmers markets give kids a great opportunity to learn where their food comes from and try new things. They can pick new fruits and vegetables to try and help you plan meals and snacks using what they find.
  4. Support local farmers and the environment When you shop at farmers markets, you’re supporting local farmers and small business owners in your community. Plus, eating local food cuts down on the money and resources usually needed to ship food to you.
  5. Learn the tricks of the trade Farmers love to talk shop and offer tips on how to prepare the foods they’re offering. No idea how to cook kohlrabi? Chances are the farmer will be thrilled to offer tried and true tips and tricks.
Farmers Market Tips
  1. Go early or go late Farmers markets can be crowded, so plan to catch it right as it opens or just before they close. Mornings are perfect for beating the heat and getting first dibs, but afternoons are great for catching deals.
  2. Bring cash and bags Most farmers only accept cash, so bring a budgeted amount, preferably in small change. This makes transactions quick and easy. And don’t forget to bring your reusable tote to carry all your goods! Bring a couple, just in case you find something you weren’t planning on buying.
  3. Know your seasons Familiarize yourself with what grows in your area in which season. This makes planning and budgeting a little easier. You can always ask the farmers what to expect in the upcoming weeks, too!
  4. Don’t be shy Don’t be afraid to ask the farmer anything and everything! Is it organic? How fresh is it? Is it in or out of season? Learn all you can about the farm and the food to become an empowered consumer.
  5. Buy in bulk Farmers often offer better deals if you buy in bulk. Try canning it, freezing it, or drying it to enjoy your fresh farmers market finds throughout the year.

If you’re not sure where or how to find farmers markets in your area, check out the USDA Farmers Markets Search. You can search by zip code, payment method, and more.

So, get out there and enjoy that locally grown produce, support local farmers, and have a healthful summer!