We all know how good shopping locally is for us, our community and the planet. And NOW is the time to shop at a neighborhood farmers’ market. The best nutritious and flavorful produce grown sustainably on nearby family farms ripens throughout our growing season. For the next few months, farmers will bring it to town for us to purchase, along with other farm products they make using local ingredients. Here are some tips for bringing home a colorful cornucopia:
*Bring cash and consider using a wagon, wheeled-cart or stroller for all your purchases; stick in a small cooler.
*Shop early for the greatest selection; shop the last hour for deals.
*Make sure to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables currently being harvested. These are infinitely more delicious than their grocery store counterparts.
*Ask farmers questions about their produce, especially unfamiliar items, and how it is grown. They are eager to have us join them in advocating for locally-grown and sustainably-produced food. They can give you preparation ideas—and maybe a sample!
*Farmers markets can be overwhelming. You might want to have a shopping plan and recipes to help you choose and use produce and other farm products while they are freshest. Think creatively and substitute ingredients with what is seasonally available. Sometimes buying a hodgepodge of items results in unused food that ends up going to waste.
Enjoy a fun, educational, productive and delicious time at a farmers market. Bon Appetit!
By Bev Harrison