Mr. Snail and I are farmer's market junkies. We love visiting new farmer's markets.
It all started one Saturday afternoon as we prowling around looking for yard sales. We happen to be lost in a new city, no need to fear we always get lost, when we spotted a sign for a local food stand.
That's where it all began.
10 Ways to Shop the Farmer's Market Like a Pro
1. Always carry cash
Carry a lot of ones and fives. The farmer's will appreciate the smaller bills and you will feel like you have lots of money to spend even if it is 10 one dollar bills.
2. Take a Lap
When I visit a farmer's market for the first time, I like to walk around the whole market to get an idea of what is being sold and what the prices are for each seller.
3. Ask for a sample
I think this is one of the sweetest things about the farmer's market...they let you taste.
4. "BEE" Adventurous.
My advice is to always buy the honey. I think I've tried out 7 different types of honey from various beekeepers and I've loved every one of them.
5. Make friends with the seller.
Farmers know their food. I have learned so many new recipes and tips just from being friendly with the sellers. In addition to great recipes, it feels so good handing over a 20 dollar bill and knowing that's going to directly influence their family for the better.
Don't be shy. Ask the seller where and how she makes the art. Be interested in their product. If it is something you are interested in as a hobby ask if the seller knows of a place that you can take a class or buy supplies. Most of time the seller knows their trade inside and old and can give you some invaluable advice on local shops and classes. They are a wealth of information at your fingertips. If I am given a lot of information from a seller I always try to buy something from that person. It's just a nice thing to do.
7. Be Loyal to your farmer
If you like the seller's product, let them know. Be consistent about coming weekly and buying their product. Buy the product for your friends with the directions to the farmer's market. Remember if their product isn't selling then they might now have a booth the next time you go to the farmer's market. By the way, these cakes are straight from heaven.
8. Bring your own bags to the farmer's market
Not only is it environmental friendly but it was one less thing that the seller has to pay for. I think of it this way everything that I take from the farmer's booth has a price tag. Every little bit counts.
9. Come Early for the best produce. Come later for the best deals.
If you come early you will have the "cream of the crop" to choose from. If you come later most of the produce will be picked through but you can try to score a better deal. Often times the farmers don't want to pack up their product to take it back home so they will lower the prices the closer it gets to closing time.
10. Pack an ice crest in the back of your car.
This is our trade mark move. We always grab a bag of ice and the cooler for the trunk. We do a majority of our shopping at the farmers market and depending on what we are buying it often times needs to stay cool to remain fresh. In Cali, where the temps are hot a cooler is your best bet.
We've been supporting our local farmer's for about 4 years now and I can say that it has truly enriched our spirits and our tummies. We feel more connected to our community. We eat more veggies because they actually taste like veggies and not watered down cardboard. We feel more responsible investing our money into local business. If you've never been to a farmer's market I would truly encourage you to check it out.