Why and how should I shop at my local Farmers’ Market?
Shopping locally not only supports the farmer. It also benefits the environment. With locally sourced food, the travel time for farm to table is much quicker allowing for a smaller environmental footprint. The farmer’s market often times provides higher quality and different variety of foods than in the supermarket.
Check your local farmers’ market guidelines as many have changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember to maintain social distancing of 6 feet apart and wear a mask. Wash hands before and after going to the market. Pay attention to the flow of people. Many markets are doing a separate entrance and exit. Do not touch products that you aren’t purchasing.
Consider only one person going to the market and not making it a whole family outing.
5 Tips to Maximize Your Time at the Market
-Plan ahead and assess your needs. Make sure not to buy more produce than you can reasonably use. Also knowing what’s in season and will be available at the market will help you plan better. Once you get home, take time to prep what you bought so you’re more likely to use it.
-Be smart about timing. Have your shopping list ready ahead of time. Arriving early to the market can allow for more selection and less crowds. However, arriving late may allow for better deals if you aren’t looking for a specific item.
-Bring your own shopping bags. Most vendors will not supply them for you. Bring both cash and credit card as different vendors take different forms of payment.
-Explore before you buy. Take a look around the whole market and see what your options are before buying anything. Different vendors may have better produce or value for quantity than others.
-Ask a farmer for advice. Many times the person behind the table has grown, picked or helped in some way with the produce you are thinking of purchasing. Asks questions like: How do I prepare or eat this? What do you make with this? How do I know when this is ripe to eat?