5 Tips for Successfully Shopping Farmers' Markets

Farmer's Market

No Certified Organic logo? Forge ahead.

Many growers at the farmers’ markets may use organic growing methods but can’t afford the certification process. And some farmers may use organic methods but the land hasn’t been farmed organically for the number of years required to be certified organic. Ask the farmers what sort of chemicals they use and how long they have been farming the land chemical-free.

Ask farmers for tips on how to use the produce.

If you see a tempting fruit or vegetable but have no idea how to use it, ask the grower. They can normally supply super-easy ways to prepare what they sell. They often have tips for ways to use the entire plant, such as the leaves, as well.

In late summer, come to the market ready to buy in bulk. 

Shop your farmers’ market in August and September and you’ll likely see flats of tomatoes and baskets brimming with squash. Farmers are usually selling these at discounts. Hit the market with the intention of snatching up some super-ripe and tasty deals for canning, freezing, drying or cooking with at home.

Bring your own bags. 

Having your own bags is not only better for the environment but also saves farmers money. Many people use wheeled carts or hand-held baskets instead of bags. Find out what works best for you.

Bring ones and change.

Most transactions at farmers’ markets still rely on cash, and in low denominations. Bring plenty of ones and change to the market.