Community-based farmers markets can introduce shoppers to an array of foods they may otherwise never experience. Farmers markets are great places to find fresh, locally grown foods, and many market customers are happy to know they’re benefiting both the environment and local businesses with every dime they spend.
Farmers markets can range from the very large to the relatively small, and first-time visitors may not know where to begin. The following are a handful of ways to maximize your visit to farmers markets of all sizes:
- Take time to explore. Farmers markets tend to have many of the same fruits and vegetables you can find at the local chain grocery store, but farmers markets also are known for offering more that what you may find in the produce isle. Take time to explore the market and you may just find foods you typically only find at your favorite restaurant. Exploring also may introduce you to new foods you may otherwise never have tried.
- Consider the timing of your visit. The popularity of farmers markets has increased dramatically as more and more people embrace the concept of buying locally grown foods. While that’s great news for the planet and local farmers, shoppers should keep that in mind when planning their visits. If you love trying new foods, arrive early to the farmers market before the more unique offerings have been snapped up. Foods that have small yet devoted followings may not be available in abundance, and you may end up leaving empty-handed if you arrive late. If it’s a bargain you want, then visit later in the day when farmers with substantial remaining inventory may be more inclined to lower their prices.
- Speak with the sellers. First-time farmers market shoppers may feel like they’re lost in the woods while everyone else seems to know exactly what they want and where to get it. If you find the farmers market somewhat intimidating, speak with the sellers. Shopping at the local farmers market tends to be more intimating that shopping at the chain grocery store, and many sellers would be happy to offer you some tips and make some suggestions based on the meals you like.
Farmers markets are great places to support local businesses and find fresh foods.