Buying local and seasonal foods when possible is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, support local small farms, save money and maximize nutrition, taste and freshness. Mother nature’s local bounty is only available while the season is right and they are constantly changing. The way to do this is to make your trip to your local farmers market a weekly ritual. Weather you are a first timer or a local seasoned veteran market shopper, here are a few good tips to help make your shopping trip a fun and rewarding experience.
TOP 10 FARMERS MARKET TIPS
1. Never go shopping for food when you are hungry. The baked treats, snacks, breads, and sweets will
be calling, so if you have a satisfied stomach it will be easier to keep walking.
2. Know what grows in your area and when it grows.
Do a little research about what’s grown in your area, and when it is in season in your area. This will help you know what farmers actually grow there produce and which farmers buy in bulk at the local wholesale markets in the area. Ask the farmer if you can come to their farm, and pick up things you might need I between market times. Also, plan ahead and know what will be available in weeks to come so you can have a general idea of what to cook in weeks ahead.
3. Bring your own bags, this way, delicate foods like tomatoes, peaches,strawberries weather the transport home.
4. Come early for the most choice in produce and go later for the best deals.
5. Do a walk through first and get an idea of what is available that day. Then go back through and make your purchases.
6. Be sure to meet the farmer. Ask him/her any questions about where they are located, do they allow farm visits and be sure to ask them if they are an organic farm. Ask them how to prepare the food you have purchased farmers are a great source for cooking tips and recipes.
7. Come with cash, small bills like ones and fives. Most farmers do not take debit and credit cards.
8. Buy in bulk. Buy a large quantity of what has been harvested at its peak. This will save you money and help you think of new recipes to try. Store seasonal foods for later in the year.
9. Experiment with available foods you have never tried. Try a new food every time you visit the farmers market. You may discover some new favorites.
10. Bring the kids, kids need to know where their food comes from. Allow them to buy a few things to try for themselves.
I hope this is a start in helping you learn how to eat healthier and help do your part in saving our planet. Take time to shop your local farmers markets this week.