If you are planning to attend a farmer’s market- how can you prepare? I definitely learned a few things.
Here are some helpful tips…
Carry cash. Although these days, more vendors accept credit cards or checks, cash is easy everywhere. Bring some small bills as well.
Go early or late. You’ll get the absolute freshest produce and greatest selection if you’re an early bird. However, you will score the best discounts if you arrive later, such as an hour before closing time, as vendors typically don’t want to haul products home.
Take a quick walk-through first. Before buying anything, make a loop through the entire market to see what’s available and note prices. Then go back and visit each booth that caught your eye to make purchases. Gear up. If you travel a long way or won’t go home right after visiting the farmers market, tote a cooler in your car to keep produce cool. And bring your own reusable bags in case vendors don’t have them. Buy in-season. Seems like a no-brainer, but you’ll get the best deals and find the most selection on food like berries in may, corn in august and apples in September. Know what produce is best for each season.
Purchase in bulk. While it may not be Costco, you’ll get the best prices at farmers markets when you buy bulk quantities. Of course, the deal doesn’t matter if food spoils and you end up tossing it, so consider freezing, canning or giving it away. Ask questions. One of the advantages of farmers markets is that you can talk directly to the growers about what a food is, how it was grown, tips to prepare it and how to store it. Most vendors are happy to share their knowledge.
Try something new. Don’t be afraid to buy some fruit or veggies that you haven’t tried before; you likely will get a good deal and may even end up with some new favorites.