8 Tips for Shopping at a Farmers Market

1. Know Your Seasons 
If you know a bit of what to expect
when you get to the farmers
market, making decisions at each
stall is much easier. Learn what
grows in your area when and talk
to the growers about what will be
coming to market in upcoming

2. Go Early
Markets tend to be less crowded
right when they open or just
before they close (there are many,
many exceptions to this, so try
going to your market at different
times to figure out the best time for
you). For the best selection, go to
the farmers market early. The best
goods go first. Popular-but-limited
items may even sell out before
the day is done. It’s as simple as

3. Bring Your Own Bags
Some vendors offer bags, but why
not choose a more eco-friendly
option. Backpacks, totes and sacks
are all good options for hauling
your goods.


4. Plan Your Meals Ahead
Since you know what you’re
likely to find at the farmers
market, you can do a bit of meal
planning. For example, if you can’t
get enough of the local Asparagus,
and you know that you’ll want
to eat some Roasted, some cooked
into a Soup, and some sliced raw
in an Butter Lettuce Salad, you
should plan out how many bunches
of asparagus to buy and look for
other ingredients to pair with it in
your meals.

5. Ask for Advice
If you find a vegetable that’s new
to you at the farmers market and
want to give it a try, ask the farmer
how to prepare it. For the best tips
specifically ask how they like to
eat it.

6. Plan for Suprises
Yes, you’ll fare better if you plan
your trip to the farmers market.
However, you need to leave a bit
of wiggle room for those strawberries
you didn’t know would be
at market so early, or the zucchini
blossoms you’ve never tried before.
Trying new things is part of the fun
of going to farmers markets.

7. Think “Farm Fresh”
Remember, real food grows
and comes to the farmers market
without being processed first.
Carrots come whole and unpeeled.
Beets still have greens (and dirt)
attached. Learning to handle
just-harvested produce can take
some getting used to, but the superior
flavor is worth the adjustment.

8. Keep It Simple
You’re buying ultra-fresh produce
when you shop at the farmers
market, so let its natural flavor
show when you cook it. Keep
preparations simple. You’ll make
cooking easier and you’ll be likely
to try (and eat) even more local
foods from the farmers market
next week.