There’s nothing better than knowing exactly where your food comes from, and a farmer’s market is just that! Farmer’s markets have been around for decades and they serve as a retail location where farmers sell their products directly to consumers. Farmer’s markets are usually outside and consist of multiple booths for farmers selling fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, beverages and more.
Farmer’s markets are usually open all-year round. If you are on a mission to eat clean and want to know exactly where your food comes from, then we definitely recommend shopping at a farmer’s market. Fresh fruit and vegetables can do wonders for your health, body and energy. If you need to find a farmer’s market near you, check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farmer’s Market Search. The CGS Team has done some research on how to maximize your farmer’s market trip and we are sharing with you!
Scout Out the Market
Depending on the size, when you arrive to the farmer’s market you may be overwhelmed. Resist the urge to purchase from the first booth you see. Do a lap around the entire market to get an idea of all of the great food you can buy. Once you know what you are working with, fill up your shopping basket.
Purchase Only What You Will Eat
We all get carried away when it comes to buying food for the week, but this can lead to spending more money and wasting food. Be realistic with your purchases. Unfortunately fresh, non-packaged food has a shorter life span than canned and frozen foods. Buy the fruits and veggies that you want, but buy just enough for up to a week and a half. Anything over that time frame is likely to go bad.
Don’t Be Shy
Most of the vendors are the actual farmers who grew the food! Don’t be afraid to say hello and ask about their products. Find out how they grow their food. Ask for any recommendations on how to cook their products. They may even offer recipe ideas or great information about their specific selections.
Chef and author of Plenty More, Yotam Otteolenghi, suggests purchasing eggs, milk, cheese, meat, condiments, bread, and flowers from the farmer’s market. These products are often fresher than what you find in general grocery stores. He also adds that these products can be much tastier than the selections available at the supermarket.
Don’t Forget the Cash
It’s very common for farmer’s market to operate with cash-only sales. Remember to hit the ATM before you go and give yourself enough money to cover your purchase for the day. Purchasing only the items you eat plus sticking to a certain cash limit will help you stay within your grocery budget!
Support your local farmers and add fresh food to your diet. The benefits will be great! Are you a fan of farmer’s markets? Do you have any tips for picking out your items? Share your suggestions with the community by leaving a comment below. We would love to hear from you!