I’m thrilled that today marks the opening of my local farmer’s market. I can’t wait to walk around the stalls to scope-out the early season produce (wonder if there will be radishes and snap peas yet?), baked goods, meats, eggs, and crafts, plus jams and honey. Local musicians will preform throughout the market, which gives the day a festive feel, and I usually run into a person or two that I know. Include the food aromas from the many food trucks and stands (I hear a breakfast burrito calling my name!) and it becomes a perfect day. The market's allure is one of the only reasons I’ll get up early on a Saturday morning.
Here are a few tips to make a visit to the local farmer’s market more enjoyable:
- Bring your own tote bag. Most vendors have plastic bags for your use, but it is much easier to have one large canvas bag to hold your purchases–especially if it can go over your shoulder. Many people bring compact personal grocery carts that fold up nicely in the car, while others bring mini coolers on wheels. As heavy as my tote bag gets, I’m thinking wheels would be a good thing!
- Put an insulated bag in your tote, or have a cooler ready in the car, to hold perishable purchases.
- Walk around the whole market first before making a purchase. That way you can see what is available and compare prices. There’s nothing
- Talk to the vendors! Ask them where and how their produce is grown. Some stands ship in their produce from far away, so you may think your buying local when your not. Also, ask for recipes. Most are happy to share their expertise.
To find your local farmer’s market, visit the Local Harvest website. There are listings not only for the markets in your state, but also many other locally-grown food spots such as farm stands, community supported agriculture opportunities, restaurants, and more
I’ll be posting farmer’s market-themed recipes throughout the summer, but here are some lovely ones from years past: