Sunday, July 4, 2010

Farmer's Market tips

If you are  new to visiting your local Farmer’s Market….I have a few tips and ideas that will make your trip a little smoother….

1. Try to go early. It usually means less crowds and more options. If you opt to go later in the day you may find that farmer’s have either run out of items or the produce has already been picked over.

2. BYOB - Please remember to bring your own bags! Most of the farmers do have some on hand but bringing your own is easier for everyone and is the most eco-friendly way to go!

3. Be adventurous. Of course you should buy your staple items but don’t be afraid to try something new. In season fruits and veggies are the way to go…so take advantage of the new and unusual. If you are unsure of what something is or how to prepare, just ask. The folks who grow usually have tons of ideas for cooking!

4. Bring Cash. I have never been to a farmers market that has accepts check or credit cards…so make sure to hit up the ATM machine prior to you market visit. It will make your life much easier in the long run!

5 .Buy your eggs, fish, milk, cheese and meat products. When you purchase the items from local markets you are cutting down on environmental impact. Plus…these items taste so much better when they go from farm to table.

6. Leave your pets home. Most markets have laws they need to follow to maintain operation. This includes no animals. As much fun as it is to bring your dog out for the morning…they usually are not allowed into markets which leaves the poor pooches sitting in very hot and uncomfortable cars.

7. Don’t haggle. I know it’s fun to go to a market and haggle over prices but leave it for the flea markets. The farmers set their prices for a reason…they have costs and overhead and not a lot of room left to negotiate. Sorry hagglers!

8. Samples. Everyone loves samples…so don’t be afraid to try them. You never know what sort of item may inspire you…so try the samples. If you like it…buy it!

9. Shop around first. I always do a lap of the market before making my purchase. I see what’s there…what looks the best….who has the best prices…..then go back and make my purchase. I’m usually on some kind of budget so and in the past have spent my budget to only get to the end of the market and realize I am out of cash but desperately want something. What a disappointment!!

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