There are farmers markets located across the country, providing fresh, locally grown food to customers.
Not only are they full of delicious goods but they are also great for local communities, as they embrace farm-to-table practices and create an opportunity for shoppers to learn more about what is harvested in their area.
Before you head out the door, know what is in store for you at your local farmers market. Here are five tips to make you a savvy shopper.
If your biggest obstacle at the farmers market is a sense of being overwhelmed by the options and what to choose, do some research and preparation at home first.
Think primarily about what foods are growing in the season you are in, and what dishes you would want to make using those items.
Find recipes, make lists of what you need to put together the meal, and then simply execute the plan once you have made it to your farmers market destination.
Bring your own bag
Sometimes vendors do not have bags at their stands, which is great for the environment but annoying for a shopper who is stocking up. Just make sure to bring two or three from home and avoid the dreaded and inconvenient hands-full juggle.
Be open to trying new food items
Sampling something different is a perk of shopping at a farmers market as many producers grow local and unique fruits and vegetables that you would not find in your average supermarket.
Most vendors do not accept credit cards, so make sure you bring cash with you.
Another good thing about shopping at the local farmers market is that you can talk to the person who is growing or making your food. If you are interested in a particular product but it is not certified organic, ask the farmer why that is; you may be surprised to find that some farmers who forgo certification are actually following all of the guidelines for producing food organically.
Similarly, if you are not sure how to wash, cook, or store a particular food item, your local farmer can probably help you with that as well.