Surviving the Farmer’s Market Frenzy

farmers-marketGet ready to saunter through hundreds of produce, floral, crafts, meat and dairy choices as farmer’s markets are now in full swing. It is a whirlwind of colorful, often organic proportions that may make some wonder how to get through it all. Here are a few tips on surviving the farmer’s market frenzy so you are able to get what you want, for the price you want, and not be overwhelmed at the same time.
Loop Around
Start off by taking your time and making a full assessment of the layout by looping around before spending a dime. Ok, an inexpensive treat like an apple cider donut or oatmeal raisin cookie is an exception but wait it out and compare so as not to deny yourself any deals you would have missed if you bought the first thing you saw. Then, turn around and double back now knowing what has already whet your appetite and is ready for purchase. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy your first stroll unencumbered by juggling bags of acquired items.
Get Curious
As you peruse the market take this opportunity to obtain some information. Talk to the farmers and ask them where they are from, how they grow their food (pesticides or organic) and even if they suggest specific recipes for your favorite items. If you do not see something you want let them know. Sometimes they will be able to bring it next time or they could decide to put it into their next harvest. Farmer’s market managers are also great resources as they can point you in the right direction, give you end of the day sale tips and offer information if you want to get involved and set up your own table.
Save Your Back, Save Your Food
Preparing for a farmer’s market visit can mean the difference between lugging and sweating or strolling and enjoying. Bring along sturdy canvas shopping bags or a wheeled piece of luggage or cart which can make a world of difference to wear and tear on your body. In addition, setting up a cooler with ice in your car, under your desk or strapped to the back of your bicycle can protect perishable purchases until you get home.
Small Bills
Your purchases will go a lot faster if you bring a supply of small bills on your farmer’s market visit. Cash is king so come ready to spend and move on rather than have a farmer running around looking for change for your twenty or fifty while you wait in the hot sun.
Go Bulk
If you enjoy particular produce, ask a farmer if they have any in bulk that you can buy next time (maybe even at a discount). If it is a bumper crop such a request will be wholly welcomed.
Hopefully this advice on surviving the farmer’s market frenzy will help you and yours take full advantage of the many treasures only found in such a venue. Plus, who knows, maybe you will even become a “locavore”. Oh, and be sure to enjoy every free sample. Hey, they’re fresh and free, what could be better?

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