8 Tips Before Your Next Trip To The Farmers’ Market
Chances are, buying food at your local farmers’ market is a more sustainable option than shopping at the grocery store. Most American farmers’ markets sell everything a supermarket does, but locally sourced: fruits and vegetables, dairy, bread, meats and some vendors sell soaps, lotions, and household items.
Another perk of farmers markets, besides drastically cutting your carbon footprint? You can get to know the farmers, cooks, and artisans yourself, and ask them questions about what you’re buying. Farmers often share tips for maximizing the longevity of their products which saves you money, and sometimes they offer recipes, too.
- There are over 8,600 farmers’ markets across the U.S. Find one closest to you here and check out these tips before you hit up your local market.
- Get there early! The earlier you can make it to the market, the fresher your produce will be.
- Do a little research. Take a minute to check out this seasonability chart to see what fruits and veggies are in season.
- Reward yourself. Many local markets offer a rewards program, either with a money back campaign or a special treat if you spend a certain number of dollars. Just ask!
- Chat up the sellers. Talk to the farmers to see what kind of inventory will arrive in the coming weeks, or if you have questions about their farming practices.
- Take a card. If you love the vendor or farmer, be sure to grab their pamphlet or business card! Many of them don’t have a permanent location at the market, or sell on an irregular schedule. This way you can always find them.
- BYOB. You’re already doing Mother Earth a favor by shopping local, so do her another solid and bring your own cloth bags to the market. We can all use less plastic!
- Sample it up. If there’s an herb or veggie you’ve never tried before, don’t hesitate to ask for a sample before you commit.
- Adapt their sustainable practices for your home. This tip comes from close to our home (AKA our grandmother): mix a few drops of dish soap and water in a spray bottle to make a natural houseplant insecticide. Check out more ways to maintain your garden sustainably here!
Have we piqued your interest in farmers’ market culture? Download our app ThatHelps to see how our cause partner organizations like City Harvest work with their local farmers’ markets.
Photo: My Wolfforth News, Urban75