When I lived in Wisconsin, I was a huge fan of the farmer’s market. Since I’ve moved to California, that has multiplied… by a lot! There’s so many more fresh options!
Shopping at a farmer’s market is often significantly less expensive than shopping at Whole Foods, or even conventional grocery stores, but there’s an even better reason to shop at them. Check this out!
See? Buying local not only reduces your carbon footprint, but it also helps support the local economy: you want your neighbors to have jobs, right?
Now that you know where and when to go, here are some tips!
1. If you have specific things that you want – go early! A lot of the time, popular items sell out! And since you’re buying from smaller farms or craftspeople, their supplies can be limited!
2. If you don’t – go late! A lot of the time at the end of the market, the farmers are more willing to negotiate or give deals, because they don’t want to load their crops back into their trucks and take them home, so they will give you a discount!
3. Figure out what is in season in your area, and stick to that if you can!
4. Bring your own shopping bags! This saves them from eventually being in the landfill, and cuts down on costs for your farmers – which keeps the prices down for you, too!
5. Check out what events they have – often there are musicians, and other special events!
6. If you need to save money by not buying everything organic, skip buying the clean 13, and only buy the dirty dozen in organic!
7. Try something new! You may have a new favorite fruit or vegetable you’ve never even heard of!
8. Get to know the farmers! Last year, we spent July 4th with our favorite farmers at their farm!
9. Ask the farmers for recipes – they know the best ways to prepare whatever they grow, because they probably eat a lot of it at home!
10. Know that farmer’s markets aren’t only about produce! I have bought tea (both ready to drink, and to brew later), lotions, soaps, baked goods, prepared foods, artisanal chocolates, greeting cards, tshirts – you name it! Be ready to shop and get unique and often handmade items you won’t find anywhere else – perfect for awesome gift giving!
11. Bring friends! Just about everything is more fun with a friend, and farmer’s markets are no exception!
A note about the California drought… I see jokes about it on social media, and hear a lot of people talk about how it’s California’s problem. Please take a look at this link, which shares information on what percentage of domestic foods are grown in my new state. I think you’ll agree that if you like those foods, it’s NOT just California’s problem… So please, do what you can to conserve water!
What is your favorite thing about your local farmer’s market?
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