The arrival of May heralds the beginning of many local farmers’ markets. Farmers’ markets are an excellent resource for fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese and other dairy products, and even plants. Produce is extremely fresh, as it comes from the farmers right around your neighborhood, and prices are usually better than at the supermarket. Buying local produce at a farmers’ market is a great way to support your local community and your local farmers as well.
To find a farmers’ market near you, search on Local Harvest.
For successful farmers’ market shopping, follow these tips:
1. BYOB. Bring your own bag, that is (preferably a re-usable grocery tote). Vendors usually have a limited supply of bags and will appreciate your having your own.
2. Arrive early. For the best selection – especially for produce just coming into season – be sure to arrive early. Items will sell out quickly, particularly those in high demand and with low supply, such as early strawberries, rhubarb, and asparagus.
3. Shop around. Just like at the local food stores, you might want to shop around for the best selection and price. Different vendors will have different varieties, and if you’re searching for a certain kind of heirloom tomato, you might find what you’re looking for if you shop around.
4. Get to know the sellers. The more you get to know certain vendors, the more information you will get from them that will help you out. They can tell you all kinds of good things, such as when a certain item will be harvested or when they will be selling it at the market. They might even set aside some for a regular customer such as yourself! Get to know them, and reap the benefits.