Top 10 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Farmers Market
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- Find out what’s in season. Use seasonal guides or maps, such as these from Chew on This and Epicurious, to figure out ahead of time what’s in season in your area and what might be at the market that day.
- Choose recipes or focus your meal plan based on what’s in season. If you know that asparagus and peas are in season, look up asparagus and pea recipes. Check out the Recipe Relay recipe index for seasonal recipe inspiration.
- Make a list of what you need based on the recipe you plan to make or the meal you want to create. If you write down all of the ingredients you need, you’ll know exactly what to look for at your farmers market.
- Look up your farmers market’s hours before you go. Try to go on the early side when you’ll find the best selection. Sites such as LocalHarvest.org catalog markets and their hours.
- Find out what payment types your farmers market accepts. If your farmers market only accepts cash, prepare by stopping at an ATM beforehand.
- Bring reusable shopping bags. While most vendors will have plastic bags for you to use, it’s much easier to carry a reusable shopping bag — not to mention better for the environment!
- Walk through the entire market first, checking out every stand and all of the offerings before making a purchase. Compare prices, selection, and quality, and then go back through and get what you need/want.
- Have conversations with the farmers and vendors. If you don’t know what something is, just ask. Often farmers are able to not only let you know what a particular item is but give you advice on how to prepare and serve it too.
- Try one new thing each time you go to your farmers market. You never know what you might find.
- Have fun! Many markets nowadays provide music or cooking demos for entertainment.
Megan heads to her local farmers market every Saturday morning once it starts up in June. She loves finding new produce to incorporate in recipes. You can see what she’s cooking over on her blog, Delicious Dishing.