Farmers markets should be relaxing places to shop. Ask yourself some basic questions. What do you like eating, what home-cooked meals do you yearn for, and what wine goes with what food? Keep these farmers market shopping tips on hand to make the process easygoing.
1. Make Time
Set aside some time to enjoy yourself. Don’t treat it like a grocery store or another errand. Farmers markets are great communal spaces. Enjoy the atmosphere and don’t rush through!
2. Go Early
If you can, get there early in the day, especially if you want seafood. You’ll have the first pick of this and most meat. Other popular vendors will also sell out earlier. You’ll learn when to beat the crowds, which can help you linger and also:
3. Talk to People
Vendors will often be excited to talk about their growing process or what makes their farm different. Shoppers may be excited to trade recipes or make recommendations. Socializing also helps relieve stress. You may even make a friend or two.
4. Buy In-season
Apples are best in fall, right after they’ve come off the tree. Most berries are also harvested in fall. Spring vegetables include asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, lettuce, chard, kale, spinach. Buy in-season to get the freshest, tastiest vegetables.
5. Buy Whole Root Vegetables
Where you can, buy root vegetables whole. This means their greens remain attached. This is especially true if you’ll be using those veggies in a few different meals. Whole root vegetables will last longer. You can even wash and eat the greens in pesto, salads, and other dishes.
6. Try New Things
Chances are good you’ll come across some unique products. Try them. This is one of the most important farmers market shopping tips because it expands your horizons. Maybe you’ve never had lingonberries before. Are those tiny eggplants real? Honey can be flavored by bees having access to different flowers? What’s a breakfast radish? Try them all.
7. Remember Your Wine
Farmers markets are great places to pick up wine, or to pick up fruits, meats, and veggies that go well with your wine. Match as you buy. What wine goes with what food? Take recommendations and combine new foods with new wines – you may just discover a new favorite pairing.
Ready to hit the farmers market?