Along with warmer temperatures, lots of sunshine and swimming pools, nothing tells us of the arrival of the lazy, hazy crazy days of summer like the local Farmer’s Market with their luscious bounty of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Whether a small corner market or an expansive market in the hub of town activity, a year-round market or a summer only market, farmer’s markets provide a healthy, often organic, way to eat. For some these aromatic, eye-catching markets are a familiar place to shop and for others it is a new experience. No matter which end of the spectrum you are on, there are certain tips that can be utilized to get the most out of your farmer’s market experience.
Make sure when you venture to the market that you bring along a larger shopping bag of some kind. Some markets provide flat boxes and larger bags, but other’s do not, and carrying around individual bags of goodies from individual vendors can become cumbersome. A large reusable shopping bag with handles, for example, can make carrying your haul much easier. Also, it can be a good idea to bring along smaller bills of cash. Depending on your city of residence and the particular markets, some vendors may take debit or credit cards, but most often take cash only. When small bills can typically go a long way at the farmer’s market, having cash on hand is beneficial.
Arriving at the market before it opens or when it opens can give you an opportunity to get an idea of what the market has to offer before the crowd begins to arrive. Take some time to walk through the entire market and browse the amazing options, before embarking on buying your goodies. This gives you the best opportunity to buy the things you really want. It can also be helpful to create a list of things you want to look for or look at when you arrive at the market, maybe jotting down things you want to make sure you buy and things that are not as essential. It is easy to lose focus among all of the fantastic options and a list can help you stay focused.
Take some time before going to the market to look into how to tell the freshest fruits and veggies so you know what to look for. Vendors are typically very happy to answer your questions as well, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of that available resource.
Heading to the market when you have a couple of hours to spend will allow you to take full advantage of the market and give you ample time to browse – and make sure to try the yummy samples!
Farmer’s markets offer some of the best opportunities to eat healthily and organically so take advantage of the warmer weather and spend a morning or an afternoon at your local farmer’s market. Turn it into some relaxing, restoring alone time, a fun couple’s activity or a friend or family outing that can add some tasty, healthy moments to your summer months while also supporting local farmers.
Reference: Laura Avery – Supervisor at Wednesday Market -Santa Monica, California
List of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables – Summer
Cherries – Sour
Chinese Long Beans
Green Soybeans (Edamame)
Hearts of Palm
Ong Choy Spinach
Sugar Snap Peas
Yukon Gold Potatoes