I originally posted this article on the Foodie Babies website but decided Farmers’ Market shopping tips aren’t just relevant for those wanting to make homemade baby food- they are relevant for EVERYONE wanting to enjoy in-season, locally-produced fruits, vegetables, meat products, bakery items, and flowers! Here are some of my shopping tips you might find helpful when visiting your local Farmers’ Market:
1. Farmers’ Markets offer a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables, which provide our bodies with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. The more colorful your shopping basket, the more of these essential nutrients you are likely eating!
2. Go home directly from the market. Avoid side trips so your food can be stored immediately in it’s proper location (fridge, pantry, etc.).
3. Wash your produce before you use it, NOT when you bring it home. Washing produce before storage can make it spoil faster.
4. Bring some cash- vendors may not accept credit cards or checks.
5. Bring your own canvas or net bag baskets, as Farmers’ Markets do not usually have shopping carts.
6. EXPERIMENT! If you want to buy produce that you have never used before, ask a vendor how they would prepare it. Also buy a quantity that you’ll be likely to use within a few days.
Fun Fact: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates over 1 million people visit a Farmers’ Market weekly!!!
Looking for a market? Visit USDA’s Farmers’ Market directory to search for a location near you.