There’s no better time than right now to take a trip to your local farmer’s market! Not only will you find a tantalizing array of organic fresh produce and treats, but you’ll get a chance to actually meet and talk with farmers from your local area. Discover their methods of sustainable farming that benefit the planet, reduces costs, and provides fresh, nutritious food. Shopping locally-grown food at a farmer’s market is a fun way that you can have a share in supporting your hard-working neighbors and invest in the local economy.
Here’s 3 ways to get the most out of your next trip to the farmer’s market:
Make a List
Prepare before you go by making a list of what you want to pick up. Having a menu planned ahead of time can be a help in narrowing down your list, but be prepared to change it up once you see what items are available, on sale, or unexpectedly catch your eye (the gorgeous deep purple of an eggplant may just force you to put one in your basket and find a recipe for eggplant parmesan later on Pinterest). When making your list, think of what items you can buy in bulk at a good price because they are in season and what you can do to make them last (e.g. freezing berries or chopped apples are great for smoothies or baking with later in the year). A little research online will yield lots of ways to store vegetables long-term. Better yet—ask one of the farmers what they recommend. They will be happy to share their tips with you!
Discover Unique Items
As you go through your shopping list checking off the items you need, why not take a few minutes to look at the fruits and vegetables that are unfamiliar. Allow yourself to be curious and ask questions that would make your 5-year-old-self proud—What is this funny-shaped thing? Is it a fruit? A vegetable? What does it taste like? How do I prepare it? Do you eat the skin? Part of the experience of shopping at the farmer’s market is being able to ask these sorts of questions directly to the person who grew it. Ask the farmer’s their opinion: How do they like to eat it? Do they have any good recipes to share? Interacting with the vendors is a great way to discover new foods to try as well as make connections with your neighbors. Get to be a “regular” at the market and be friendly, conversational; you’ll get a reputation as a loyal customer and friend which can lead to extra perks and discounts.
Find the Perfect Gift for Someone Special
After you’ve shopped for yourself, take a few minutes to browse the stalls you may have overlooked and think about which items may appeal to someone special in your life. Maybe a bouquet of fresh flowers is just what a neighbor who’s going through a tough time could use to brighten up their day. Is there someone you know who is a chocolate aficionado—then look for an organic chocolate bar that will satisfy their craving. Many farmer’s markets are a great place to discover local coffee roasters. Pick up a few bags for family, coworkers, or friends—they make great any occasion gifts and are always appreciated! Have a housewarming party to go to? Find the perfect, unique gift from one of the artisans at the market. And don’t forget the little ones—fresh baked cookies, jams, and other treats will put a smile on their faces.
Your local farmer’s market is just bustling with delectable delights for all in the family and can be a fun outing for all ages. So, are you ready for your next visit to the farmer’s market?