Happy Friday, folks!
One of the things I look forward to on the weekend (besides being outdoors & spending time with family) is going to the local farmer’s market! The market located in my town is absolutely beautiful. There are so many sights and sounds to enjoy and it reminds me why I love Bloomington so much.
Going to a local farmer’s market can be particularity overwhelming at first but once you know how to approach the market, you’ll be a shoppin’ pro in no time. Here are some of my tips to make your trip a little more stress free.
1.) Go early. Beat the crowds and avoid the dreaded “Out of ____” signs. By going early you can snag a great parking spot and be able to take your time strolling through each of the unique vendors without the mass amounts of people.
2.) Be prepared to pay for parking. Now that our town has enforced parking meters, I always bring extra quarters with me to easily slip into the meter and get to the market.
3.) Bring reusable bags. Oh dear, when I first went to the market I noticed a ton of people carrying them around with their fresh produce in tow — I felt so out of place! Bringing your own bags not only helps the environment, but also helps reduce cost on the farmer’s side.
4.) Bring cash — specifically small bills. Most vendors don’t have a credit card swiping machine, so bring cash! Small bills are extremely helpful and you’re able to give the money to the vendor quick and sneak out of there.
5.) Compare shop. I absolutely love gawking at the beautiful produce laying out to purchase so we always do a once over of all the vendors and scope out what we might want to buy and then compare prices from other vendors. For example, last week Mitchell wanted bacon (gotta love my husband!). Well, one vendor had a pound of bacon for $9, and to our surprise, we found another vendor that was $7 a pound! Save two bucks on bacon? Yes please!
6.) Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to approach the vendor! They are more than happy to answer questions about what the grow and how they grow it. Last week, we did some investigating into the different types of cherries. The vendor even let us sample them before we bought them so we knew exactly what we were buying.
7.) Enjoy! There is nothing better than being able to buy fresh produce, meat, and cheese knowing that it was produced near by. I’m not lucky enough to have a garden in my small yard but I sure am lucky enough to be able to buy from farms that are located right in southern Indiana.
What are some of your favorite farmer’s market tips? Do you shop at your local market?
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