Ahhh my favourite time of year! (ok, besides Christmas) Our first local market was last Friday and it couldn’t have been a more gorgeous day. We were even lucky to be serenaded by the Cuban band El Grupo Cubano – Brisas del Palmar. It made me feel like I was down south again; only thing missing was a nice, cold margarita!I wanted to revisit a few tips I posted last year and add a couple more on how to make the most out of your farmer’s market.
So here are my top 7 Farmer’s Market Shopping Tips:
1. Know your season ~ Do a little research beforehand and find out what’s in season in your area. That way, you’ll know you’ll be getting the freshest produce!
2. Buy in bulk ~ It’s usually much cheaper to buy a flat of berries than individual quarts. So buy in bulk, wash your produce right away and freeze them to enjoy year round. You’ll save $$ in the long run!
3. Get to know your farmer ~ Every farmer/vendor I have talked to are happy to tell you about their produce. If you’re not sure how to prepare an item, just ask! If you want to know if the produce is organic or spray-free, just ask! Don’t assume everything is automatically organic, do your homework.
4. B.Y.O.B ~ Bring your own bag! Not only is it better for the environment, but many vendors run out of plastic bags quickly. It’s always best to bring your own.
5. Bring small bills/change ~ This makes the process faster and easier for the vendor. No one wants to break $100 bill for a $3 bag of peppers.
6. Get there early for the best selection or late for the best deals ~ For the best selection get there early. That way you get your pick of the best stuff! Although, waiting until the end might get you a bargain as some vendors would rather sell stuff at a discounted price than cart it back with them.