Five Tips for Farmers' Market Shopping | PBS Food

Five Tips for Farmers Market Shopping

Farmers' Market Tips

By Lauren Jones

There are farmers markets located across the country, providing fresh, locally grown food to customers. Not only are they full of delicious goods but they are also great for local communities, as they embrace farm-to-table practices and create an opportunity for shoppers to learn more about what is harvested in their area.

Before you head out the door, know what’s in store for you at your local farmers market. Here are five tips to make you a savvy shopper:

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  1. Plan Ahead – Before you leave home, do a bit of online research to see what’s in season. The produce cycle changes throughout the year. By taking the time to research beforehand, you won’t be surprised if what you are looking for isn’t available.

  2. Create a Meal Plan – Try to sketch out some meal ideas ahead of time, so you know which ingredients you need when you arrive. Just like at a grocery store, it’s helpful to have a shopping list with you, so you don’t buy more than you need. However, remember to be flexible, as no two farmers markets carry all of the same items.

  3. Come Prepared – Many farmers markets only accept cash and may not have exact change for large bills. Try to keep small denominations of money on hand when you go shopping.

  4. Be Green – Take advantage of what a sustainable shopper you’ve become and bring your own reusable grocery bags. Sometimes farmers markets don’t even stock their own plastic bags so by bringing your own, you will be guaranteed a way to carry home all of your purchases.

  5. Ask Questions – If you are unsure of a product or need more information, ask the vendor! He or she will certainly have plenty to share about the item itself. They may also be eager to offer varied ways to eat or prepare the item. Who knows, you might go home with a new recipe!

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More Farmers’ Market Resources

Farmers' Market MapFind a Farmers Market Near You!
Use our “Farmer’s Market Resource Page” to find a market in your local area.

Farmers' Market Seasonal Spring ProduceWhat’s in Season During the Spring?
Get a starter list of what fruits and vegetables are in season during the Springtime before you head to the farmers’ market.

Farmers' Market Seasonal Summer ProduceWhat’s in Season During the Summer?
Discover what fruits and vegetables are available during the Summer months.

Jenna's Farmers' Market TripWhat’s a Farmers’ Market Like?
If you have never been to a farmers’ market, food blogger Jenna Weber describes her weekly pilgrimage to shop for produce.

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