Food

How to Shop at the Farmers Market

farmer's marketShopping at the farmers market is one of my favorite things to do during the weekend. I love it even more when I’m with Magdalene as she tends to make things interesting. Her favorite thing to do is to try the fruit samples. I mean, who could blame her? I even love trying samples. But what really makes a great farmers market experience is when you know what you’re getting and you have fun with it. Below are a few tips to follow on your next trip to the farmers market.

1. Shop Early

Get there before the afternoon. There are plenty of people who know what they’re looking for and will choose the best of the best. This tip is especially important if you’re shopping for meat or fish. Since these products have to be kept on ice, they’re often the first to go or the first to go bad. However, apply this to all products at a farmers market. You don’t want to get there late to see that the only fruits left are the damaged ones.

2. Use your Senses

Taste, touch, and smell everything. A big part of food is using your senses. Learn how to use them to pick out the best produce before going shopping. This includes knocking on melons, smelling pineapples, and even shaking avocados. However, don’t buy that peach just because it looks bright and plump. Ask for a sample of it. You may be surprised that you judged it by appearance and it lacks sweetness. For herbs, I usually like to smell them. If the smell isn’t potent then I won’t buy.

3. Observe First

Before you reach for your wallet, take a walk around the whole market. There may be more than one zucchini vendor. I remember when I made the mistake of buying from the first vendor I saw. I quickly realized there were better prices and better products further down the market. Don’t make the same mistake. It’ll help your pocket and tastebuds.

4. Don’t Fall for Everything

Yeah, it’s a farmers market but that doesn’t mean everything is better than your local stores. Before going to the farmers market, check out the prices and quality of products around where you live. Maybe your local butcher has a better deal on that meat than the vendor at the farmers market.

5. Have Fun

Don’t be afraid to stop by and try a sample of a new product. It may be annoying to be sold to but if you keep an open mind to new things, you may actually enjoy it. This becomes extra fun with children. Get your children involved in trying new things even if all you get is a laugh at their faces scrunching.

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