Summer months bring about so many fun outdoor activities. One activity that has become a staple in my week is shopping at the local farmers market. My town has one on Thursdays but the large market in Downtown Detroit takes place on Saturdays. My favorite way to spend a Saturday is my ritual of working out early followed up by coffee and then hitting up the farmers market for goodies.
I love shopping at my local farmers markets, however I can see how it could be a little overwhelming for those who have never been before…
Here are my top 10 tips for those new to the farmers market scene:
1. Arrive earlier rather than later. Popular items tend to sell out fast so head to the market early – you’ll beat the crowd and get the best selection.
2. Bring a reusable bag (or 2) and stash some cash $. We live in a credit card world, but some vendors only accept cash.
3. It’s fun to come hungry – often times farmers markets have coffee, food trucks and samples. If you come hungry you’ll be more likely to try something new.
4. Talk to the vendors/farmers – how is their produce grown, what’s the best way to cook a particular item? They might even have recipes available to share.
5. Try at least one “new-to-you” item. Farmers markets have some obscure items that you might not know what to do with. Pick one out, ask the farmer about it and then research recipes online. Who knows, you might just find your new favorite fruit/veggie.
6. Go beyond the produce. One of my favorite items to buy at the farmers market is flowers but you’ll also find meats, eggs and dairy. The best part is that they’re usually from local, eco-friendly farms.
7. Most markets also sell crafts and baked goods. Handmade artwork, jewelry, candles and sweets make great gifts!
8. Shop around before deciding to buy. Nothing is worse than buying produce at one stand and finding the same item is cheaper and looks better from a vendor 2 booths down.
9. Bring a list with a few ideas of what veggies you need/want, but also be willing to comprise once you see what vegetables are available and look the best that week.
10. Make a date of it! Go with your hubby/boyfriend/best friend and enjoy yourself. It’s fun just to walk around and take in all the sights.
I hope you enjoy your trip to the Farmers Market! And don’t be afraid to just grab a coffee and stroll through the first time you go. That way you can get a lay of the land and see what the market is all about. But most of all, have fun and enjoy all of the great food, beautiful flowers and amazing vendors in your local area.
Do you shop at Farmers Markets?
What are your top tips?
Is there something you love to purchase at your local market?