10 Market Buying Tips

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10 Farmers Market Buying Guidelines

The simplest method to consume fresh, locally-grown produce is to shop at a farmer’s market. Knowing where the food comes from is simple because the grower is nearby, and you can ask them. However, the farmer’s market can feel overwhelming due to the abundance of choices and some uncommon fruit and vegetable species.

Some consumers leave the store with bags of random goods, letting half of them spoil in the crisper. Others come away from experience with just one bunch of carrots and a stomach full of samples, unsure what to purchase for this week’s dinners. Planning can make weekly trips to the farmers market enjoyable and all-week cooking simple.

Recognize the Seasons

When you arrive at the farmer’s market, you’ll know what kind of fruits and veggies to expect if you understand seasonal produce. Keep in mind that depending on the growing location you live in, seasonality and the things offered will vary.

Make a meal plan in advance.

Since you know what to expect at the farmer’s market, you can plan your meals and make appropriate purchases as you would at the grocery store. Make a list and include the quantities of each item you’ll require. Keep an open mind because the farmer’s market is subject to seasonality, and vendors can run out of something or not have it that week. A week without asparagus? Change it up with broccolini.

Bring some spare cash.

You must bring cash because it’s exceedingly uncommon for farmers’ market vendors to accept credit cards. Even though sellers often make changes, transactions will go faster if you have precise (or almost exact) changes. It will be simpler for you and the merchants if you bring a stack of ones and fives.

Take large bags.

Some farmer’s market vendors sell typically thin, fragile plastic bags that moan under the weight of any sizeable produce purchase. Bring your strong canvas or nylon bags to ensure that everything arrives home from the farmer’s market without spilling into your car’s sidewalk or interior. In particular, for heavy or bulky things, a backpack can ease the lugging.

If you frequently purchase large quantities, you might want to consider getting a wheeled cart or wagon (strollers work great for carrying fruits and veggies) so you can bring your bounty from the farmer’s market home all at once.

Companies that helped build and construct the farmer’s market such as professional contractors have purchased huge quantities of merchandise and grocery for their employees and their company which offer concrete in Macon, GA. We know buying in bulk, especially when feeding the masses can pay off, which is what so many people do at the market.

Go early

Immediately as they open or right before they close, markets typically have less traffic. There are exceptions to this rule, so experiment with visiting your market at various hours to determine when it’s ideal for you.

Arrive early at the farmer’s market for the best selection. The best products usually sell out first, and popular but limited ones occasionally do.

Go Late

Visit the farmers market late for the best discounts. Farmers and other sellers will occasionally provide discounts in the last hour rather than packing them back up and carrying them home. Be aware that some markets prohibit day-end discounts.

Be impulsive

Yes, planning your trip to the farmer’s market will help you do better. However, it would help if you allowed some wiggle room in case strawberries or zucchini blooms that you’ve never tried before show up in the market earlier than expected. Going to farmers’ markets and trying new foods is enjoyable.

When you purchase food at a farmers market, it is extremely fresh; thus, when you prepare it, let its natural taste come through. Simple preparations will allow the best product to shine.

Consult the Farmers

Ask the farmer about any fruits or vegetables you find at the farmer’s market that you are unfamiliar with. Most sellers are more than eager to provide detailed information about their goods, including how they are produced, where they come from, what they taste like, and how to use them. Farmers frequently know the best way to prepare their crops for dinner since they are familiar with them. Additionally, they might offer you a sample to try.

Purchase a lot

You can get the best farmers’ market prices when purchasing in bulk. Buying in bulk whatever is at the height of the harvest will allow you to take advantage of the best flavors and costs.

Try some new dishes or pick up the lost art of food preservation if you’re concerned about using up all of that fresh vegetables. You may preserve the seasonal delicacies you find at the farmer’s market for later in the year by freezing, maintaining, or drying them.

Consider Whole Foods.

Most of the products offered at farmers’ markets are whole, lightly processed food. Unpeeled, entire carrots are available. Greens and dirt are still adhering to the beets. It can take some getting used to handling recently gathered food, but the enhanced flavor is worth the effort.

A benefit of whole foods is that a large portion of the material that supermarkets remove from fruits and vegetables before buying them is edible. Beet greens that have been sautéed are rich, and carrot tops create a fantastic pesto.

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9 Ways to Save at the Farmers Market

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It’s a frequent assumption that buying food grown and produced locally will cost more money.

According to Molly Watson, a local food blogger for About.com, “the best way to save money on produce, in general, is to buy it in season, so buying at farmers’ markets is a terrific step in the right direction.”

It takes a different strategy to shop and save at your neighborhood farmers’ market than at the supermarket, but with these pointers, it’s simple to start reaping the rewards of eating locally.

Here are some tips for making financial savings at your neighborhood farmers’ market.

1. Don’t Use That List

You will probably be dissatisfied and spend more than you meant if you go to the market expecting to find a specific item.

Instead, shopper Brittany Haskell advises, “keep your mind open and just see what is available and then design a meal based on what you got.”

Nicole Cormier, a qualified dietitian from the area who enjoys cooking, refers to this method as intuitive cooking. To prevent food waste, it’s crucial to experiment with different ways to prepare veggies.

From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce is my go-to cookbook for maximizing what I find at the farmer’s market.

Make the most of any fresh, affordable, and readily accessible produce by using the recipes, cooking advice, and storage suggestions in this helpful book, which includes an alphabetical listing of common vegetables.

2. Purchase seasonal items

A luscious strawberry in the middle of winter is irresistible, but it’s not the healthiest or most economical thing to eat. You are compelled to understand the seasonality of food if you shop locally.

According to EatLocalGrown.com, “Agricultural products are more expensive early or late in the season.”

Farmers put in a lot of effort to be the “first” or “last” to market a specific product. A market’s pricing will decrease if every seller has the same item, but if just one vendor is selling it, that vendor can set the price. Buy things at the height of their season to save money.

Tiffany, a food budget blogger for The Nourishing Home, concurs. Food that is in season and locally grown typically costs less, tastes better, and has more nutrients than produce that is out of season and imported.

She provides two excellent tools to assist you in knowing what to look for at various times of the year: Utilize this useful article from the Natural Resources Defense Council to be aware of the seasons before shopping. It lets you view what is in a season by food, state, and month.

“Locavore is a free app that shows you what’s in season and which local markets provide what you’re looking for. It’s another alternative.”

Yes, there is still more money you can save using your smartphone!

3. Select Seconds

Not all of your cuisine needs to be beautiful or presentable.

Check with the farms about seconds or vegetables they would eat rather than sell to a restaurant, advises Cormier.

The Carson City Farmer’s Market says, “Many farmers also sell seconds – food that is slightly bruised or less substantial than the full-priced goods, but tastes just as excellent or is perfect for canning.”

Your vegetables taste just as well as those of their more attractive counterparts, even if you have to clip off a few bruises.

4. Invest Largely

Additionally, buying in bulk allows the dollars to build up. To successfully purchase in bulk, you must have adequate storage.

Purchasing meats and vegetables in quantity from nearby farmers is an option, according to Cormier, if you have an extra freezer.

A quick check on Craigslist turns up many reasonably priced local chest freezers, and Cormier also advises buying a vacuum sealer.

5. Carry cash, particularly quarters.

EatLocalGrown.com says that quarters are reportedly just as useful at your local farmers’ market as cash.

Paying with quarters frequently results in excellent savings, especially at Sunday markets! Farmers often run out of quarters when giving change, so they are in high demand at farmers’ markets. If you go to a farmer with rolls of quarters, he may give you a tomato, beans, or something else in exchange for using your coins.

Free food simply for possessing a few coins? That is not at all a bad deal.

6. Create connections

Local shopping is no exception to the adage that it all comes down to who you know.

“Establish a relationship with your neighborhood farmers and let them know you’ll buy any food they “need to sell quickly” at a discount. Use it right away or freeze it after that. For bread and muffins, I frequently buy extra zucchini, Erin Chase of $5 Dinners told AllYou.

See if you can swap non-food products for your product if you have established a solid rapport with one or more farmers.

Building a friendship with the vendor is crucial in this situation because they could be less ready to barter with a total stranger.

According to Kelly Thompson and Kasey Trenum of Time 2 Save, “vendors frequently are willing to engage in traditional bartering.”

Try exchanging your stockpile’s contents, such as toiletries, paper products, and cleaning supplies, for fresh produce.

7. Travel in any weather.

Farmers’ markets are frequently open, rain or shine, because the season is so short.

ValPak.com advises that you may typically get excellent deals when the weather is poor.

Customers are turned away by rain, cold, and even extreme heat. Therefore the farmer may give discounts to increase sales. Fewer clients also give you more time to converse with the farmer and establish a rapport.

8. Buy later

Although it can be risky to arrive late, frequent shoppers report that the market’s final 30 minutes are frequently when they locate the finest discounts.

The selection won’t be as good, and stalls might run out of popular items, but Watson notes that merchants frequently prefer to sell what’s left at a slightly discounted price than hauling it home.

“However, don’t presume the farmers have no other use for their products and make a paltry offer. The more likely option is rounding down to the nearest dollar (or $5 increment for bigger sums) or receiving a free item for multiple transactions.

EatLocalGrown.com advises the following wise tactic:

Make sure you voluntarily enter into a mutually beneficial relationship if you regularly arrive at the market just before closing time. Do the farmer a favor and buy a lot of food if you get a good bargain from them before they close. Say something like, “I see that you have some leftover food, and I want to assist you. What do you have to offer me for $20?

The farmer will be more likely to give you a decent deal and the best items on their table if you initially provide a certain amount of money and let them choose what to sell you.

9. Think about joining a CSA

CSA, or community-supported agriculture, is another excellent way to increase the number of local vegetables in your diet.

By signing up for a CSA, you consent to pay a farmer a “share” of the season’s harvest and pick up fresh vegetables weekly.

Even while you usually have to pay up in advance, Cormier notes that shares normally cost $30 per week and come with an abundance of fresh food.

When I belonged to a CSA a few years ago, I bought a half share for the season, saved a tonne of money, and had extra vegetables. Find a farmers market close to you using our directory to start shopping locally.

Writer, designer, and director of marketing Ally Piper. She enjoys eating and cooking regional cuisine and blogs on balance, business, and life.

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During the coronavirus epidemic, farmers’ markets may be your best choice

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The Clark Park Farmers Market, open all year in West Philadelphia, is a favorite place for Njeri Harris to grip and feel the produce she frequently purchases.

At the market, local farmers and food vendors frequently provide their bounty for passersby to smell, taste, and even try. These include fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, eggs, milk, mushrooms, baked products, and wine made in Pennsylvania.

Harris must now point at what she wants from a distance due to municipal and state laws designed to keep farmers’ markets safer during the coronavirus pandemic.

What sort of vegetables are these? She questioned from a line that had developed six feet away from a vendor’s produce table, “Are they dandelion greens? “May I please have one?”

Farmer markets are no longer active in the region. Crafts, prepared dishes, and samples have all vanished. Hanging out with a pal while meandering from store to store is a thing of the past. Everyone is standing apart, wearing masks, and most of the product is already wrapped. In some markets, you can only purchase if you place an online preorder.

Health experts say farmers’ markets are now among the safest locations to buy food during the epidemic because of the new regulations.

According to Yvonne Michael, an epidemiologist at Drexel University School of Public Health, “there are benefits to going to a farmers market in light of coronavirus in terms of the fact that you’re outside, there’s fresh air flowing, and the supply chain is shorter.”

Michael argued that it is still too early to determine whether farmer’s markets are inherently safer than supermarkets. Farmers’ markets may be riskier than larger grocery shops, but that depends on their adherence to stringent laws, outdoor location, and the fact that food is delivered directly from the grower or producer to the consumer (where there is less handling).

Michael advised people to visit a farmers market while the coronavirus was around because they have numerous positive effects on public health.

Customers and vendors said those advantages are essential in times like these.

“I feel like I get more for my money when I purchase at the farmers market because the stuff is so much fresher and keeps longer in the fridge,” said Harris. I’m now unemployed. This is a wonderful opportunity to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and show your support for the local farmers.

A regular visitor to Clark Park and registered nurse at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Aaron Huntley concurs.

It’s convenient, close to my house, help local farmers, and avoids the bigger supermarkets, according to Huntly. And I choose to shop for food outdoors rather than in a confined area with many other people.

Farmer’s market consumers, according to vendors like Matthew Sicher, who lost 80% of his sales due to the pandemic, have been essential to keeping his family afloat during the crisis. Before it closed in March, his family-run Primordia Mushroom Farm in Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania, sold most of its goods to eateries in New York City and Philadelphia.

The dread of losing the farmer’s markets, he claimed, was the most stressful experience for him and his wife.

Sicher claimed that the new preordering and pre-packaging rules have resulted in much additional work. He claimed that they would set aside five to seven hours on average to prepare for the four or five markets where they typically sell on the weekend. Now, getting ready for each market takes 25 to 27 hours.

So that’s an issue, Sicher said, “especially because we had to let rid of a substantial number of workers.” “However, considering that we have substantial sums of money outstanding in our accounts receivable for restaurants that have since closed, it’s just crucial to have that infusion of cash flow.”

Pete Demchur, an expert goat cheese maker in Honey Brook, Pennsylvania, faces a similar situation. When eateries closed, he lost most of his customers, and he is currently looking for ways to avoid throwing away the milk his goats produce.

It’s challenging since the animals still need to be fed and milked daily, and you must buy hay and feed. It’s quite difficult,” remarked Demchur.

It helps to sell dairy products, eggs, and cheese at the Rittenhouse Farmers Market on Saturdays.

This earns us a little money, he remarked.

Several markets are currently operating in the city, despite most farmers’ markets starting in May.

current shopping locations

Filter Square, Clark Park, and Headhouse are the three-year-round markets maintained by The Food Trust, which was initially a division of the Reading Terminal Market and started operating farmer markets in 1992.

They accept SNAP assistance and provide a $2 voucher for each $5 spent with them. Although their marketplaces will continue to allow direct sales from farmers, some of the sellers are looking into preorder and pre-payment options, and the market is urging customers who can do so to do so.

According to Meghan Filoromo, senior manager of The Food Trust’s Farmers Market Program, “We aren’t going to switch to that because there is a digital gap entirely, not everyone can access the internet, and there isn’t a method to pay with EBT [Pennsylvania benefit card] online.”

Rittenhouse, Bryn Mawr, and Chestnut Hill are the three markets Farm to City now hosts on Saturdays. All sales had to be preordered and pre-paid for before this Saturday. The pre-packaged order could be picked up by one person per household only, according to a timetable based on the family’s last name.

According to the Farmers’ Market Program Manager, Jon Glyn, the food sales have decreased. But we believe placing a preorder with the farmers or bakers and picking up those products within their designated pickup periods is undoubtedly less dangerous.

The market managers decided to permit direct sales this weekend from noon to 2 pm.

“We typically have a lot more merchants and a lot more attendees. We don’t believe this is failing, though, just because we haven’t reached that capacity, added Glyn. We want to provide a service to both the fresh food consumers and the farmers producing it.

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