Farmer's Market Haul, Tips + Tricks!
Updated: Apr 21, 2020
The farmer’s market is my happy place. There’s no better time than May-October when all the markets are in full swing and you have a rainbow surrounding you. I love going to the farmer’s market because you know where you food is coming from- I honestly love seeing the dirt still on all the fruits and vegetables because you know they were just freshly picked.
The farmer’s market can be really overwhelming- especially when you just want to buy everything and you don’t know what to buy or how to determine if something is ripe or ready. I have a few tips and tricks I stick to for surviving the farmer’s market!
#1 Know What’s in Season!
Knowing which fruits and vegetables are in their prime is really helpful in determining what to buy, because you’ll want to not only be eating foods that are super yummy at this point, but nutrient dense and at their peak! Not to say everything at the farmer’s market isn’t amazing, but it’s always a good idea to stock up on what’s the best of the best, because it might not be available come another season.
Right now, in season fruits and veg includes:
*Indicates year round
-Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
#2 Stay with Local Vendors
If you live in a big city and attend a well-known and very large farmer’s market, it’s possible some of the vendors there might not be local or be supplying local foods. Not to say their products aren’t great, but buying locally means you’re not only supporting your community, but you know your food didn’t travel very far to get to the market.
#3 Stick with Organic
When I’m shopping at the grocery store, I don’t always buy 100% organic. If a fruit or vegetable has a skin that can be peeled off or an outer layer, I’ll usually stick with conventional for the price and knowing that the food is still protected. When I’m at the farmer’s market, I just want the best of the best and since prices are already better (most of the time) than what you would find at the grocery store, even organic, I’m willing to pay. There’s a list called the Dirty Dozen, which includes foods that rank the highest and could contain the greatest pesticide load. These are the foods I try to stick with organic when buying at the farmer’s market or even in the store!
-Kale and Collard Greens
#4 Stock Up on Greens
I think this is just a “me” thing, but it’s something I do every time I go to a farmer’s market, but I always stock up on my leafy greens and green vegetables. For some reason, I like buying them at the market because they don’t come prepackaged wrapped in plastic and they haven’t been sitting on a grocery store shelf for who knows how long. Grocery store veg and greens are not bad by any means, and I buy them at the store frequently, but there is way more variety and accessibility at the market.
#5 Don’t Bite More Than You Can Chew
It’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement of the farmer’s market (if you’re like me) and want to buy everything in sight! It’s just so colorful!! But get items you know you can eat in about a weeks time, we’re talking about fresh food here- it’s going to go bad fairly quickly or get foods you can cut up and freeze for later or for smoothies, like zucchini and peaches. You don’t want to be left at the end of the week throwing away foods you never got around to eating. So it’s important to ask yourself the reality of your week coming up- do you have a lot of events planned where you’ll be eating out, time to meal prep, enough storage, etc?
Overall, it’s better to buy a variety of foods at the farmer’s market- even if it’s only a little bit because you’re going out a lot in the upcoming week, but having some delicious whole foods on hand can make a world of difference. Always wash everything when you get home and take time to cut up items you may have bought in bulk and store it properly. It’ll set you up nicely! Buy foods you may not be able to buy at your local grocery store, ask questions, and better yet- eat all the free samples!