8 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Trip to the Farmers Market
Warm weather and sunny skies are here, and more and more of us are shopping at our local farmers markets. Whether you love the sights, sounds, and smells of the bustling open-air market or whether you’re stressed out by the crowds of shoppers on hot summer days, the odds are good you could use a few tips to make your trip easier.
Farmers markets play an important role in our ability to access fresh, wholesome, and locally produced foods. Every year farmland is lost to urban sprawl as fields are bulldozed to make space for shopping malls, condos, and office buildings, making it incredibly important that we support farmers in our communities. One way that we can show our support is by shopping at the local farmers market.
Whether you shop there on a semi-regular basis (and want to start buying more of your food from the farmers market) or have been too intimidated to go more than once or twice (but want to give it another shot), we have eight great tips that can help you shop with confidence and make the most out of your trip to the farmers market.
Know What’s in Season
If you’re going to shop at the farmers market, then you’ll need to plan your meals around the fruits and vegetables that are in season — you won’t be able to get asparagus in March, for example. The benefit, however, is that by eating seasonal produce, you’ll get fruits and vegetables at the peak of ripeness (and deliciousness). Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with what’s in season; most farmers markets can provide you with a chart of what you can expect to be available each month.
Know When to Go
There are two schools of thought when it comes to timing your visit to the farmers market. If you’re looking for the best selection of products, go early; many of the more popular items will sell out before the day is over. If, however, you’re looking for the best deal, then try visiting the farmers market late in the day; you’re more likely to find mark-downs.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.