We love Farmers Markets! So much to see, so much to do. There are always neighbors to run into, farmers to chat up, recipe swaps and artisanal foods and items we can’t get anywhere else. We’re following up our earlier post of frugal farmers market tips with this post with some more general ideas to fully embrace local food shopping.
Farmers Market Tips
- Be friendly! You are walking among local farmers and your neighbors, you’ll never know who you’ll meet and it’s a great opportunity to experience just how much food weaves into our local culture. Enjoy the experience.
- If you can, go early. The produce will be fresh, and the farmers will be friendly, a great time to chat briefly and get inspired for dinner.
- Plan at least one dish for market day. By that I mean, don’t buy just-picked produce and then shove it in the lettuce crisper for four days. Enjoy locally grown and make something that evening to enjoy food at its best.
- Shoulder season could showcase local artisans. Many farmers’ markets will rent space to artisans when farmers aren’t at their peak of production. This is an opportunity to meet your creative neighbors and support local commerce, be open to pleasant surprises.
- Visit multiple markets until you find a favorite. Farmers markets will vary widely based on the vendors. Some skew to artisanal foods, some to straight up veggies and some offer an eclectic mix. We find we regularly visit two that meet our needs best.
- Are your eyes the same size as your carrying capacity? Yes, it all looks delicious and fresh, but can you get it home? Make sure whatever you buy you can get home.
- If you’re on vacation, visit the local market. Brandi Koskie from DietsInReview wrote, “This is a must-do on any trip we’re on. You get such a different experience at every one, get to try different local foods, and find, what I think is, the best souvenirs (local honey!). There’s always live music, food trucks, etc. It’s just a fun scene and so different in every place. I’ve been to FM across the entire country and it’s always my favorite “tourist trap.”
What tips would you add to this list? How do you carry your goodies home? Do you have a favorite farmers market recipe? We love this zucchini bread recipe from Morning Glory Farm on Martha’s Vineyard.