How to Properly Prepare for the Farmers Market

The first time I went to a farmers market, I was completely unprepared. Don't get me wrong; it was still a delightful experience. I enjoyed walking around on a beautiful afternoon admiring the abundance of produce, flowers and other fun handcrafted items to be sold. The only problem was… I didn't bring any cash. Therefore, I could not purchase any luscious fruit that I was so longing to…

So, before you make the journey, don't make the same mistakes I did! Read and apply these five ways on how to best prepare for a successful day at the farmers market. It will make for an even better experience!

1. Research the market beforehand.

Find out everything you can about the specific farmers market you plan to attend. What time it opens, where to park, what they sell and what items are most popular. This will save you lots of energy and you will leave a more satisfied shopper!

2. Know which produce are in season.

All fruits and vegetables have a cycle. It is important to know when they are ripe and ready to be sold. For example, don't expect to go hunting for the perfect squash beginning of summer, or expect to find the best strawberries in the fall.

3. Plan Meals ahead of time.

If you want to save time and money at the farmers market, plan meals ahead of time so you know exactly how many quarts or pounds of produce to purchase. You can make a list just like you would for the grocery store. Although, allow for some spontaneity, it is a farmers market after all.

4. Know what questions to ask.
For farmers and vendors, these markets are their livelihood. They care for and watch their produce like they would their own children. They can answer any important questions you might have before purchasing and most love to! Some of these questions could include:

a. "How did you grow this?"

b. "How were your livestock raised?"

c. "How could I prepare this?"

d. "What does this pair well with?"

5. Bring the green… & a bag.

Last, but not least, if you don't bring cash then you won't be buying anything… Most vendors prefer cash and don't have time to swipe your credit cards. Also, if you do not wish to juggle around your purchases, then bring your own bag. Most stands do not provide you with a plastic or paper baggy. They're serious about green!

Fore more information and helpful tidbits, visit the websites listed under sources.

Let the farmers market fun begin!


    Bethany Bird
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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