10 Guidelines for Farmers’ Market Shopping

I found this article in this month’s Bon Appetit about some good guidelines to follow when shopping at your local farmers’ market and wanted to share them with you! I love shopping at  farmers’ markets and hope you do too.

1. Yes,  eggs, milk, and produce are more expensive at the supermarket. But where else can you get just-laid eggs with bright orange yolks, milk capped with cream, and vegetables that go beyond garden variety? What’s more, the taste is exponentially better. So don’t hassle the farmer about price.

2. We all want beautiful corn, tomatoes, and peaches, but that doesn’t give you the right to shuck, squeeze, and poke every single one in search of perfection.

3. When it comes to plastic, let me just say: Bring your own bags.

4. Leave the dog at home.

5. Unless it grows in your region, don’t expect to find it at your local market. Of course, if you live in California, you can ask for anything…

6. Each visit, buy one ingredient you’re unfamiliar with–perhaps garlic scapes, fava beans, or pattypan squash.  It’ll make you a better cook.

7. To shop like a chef, go right when the market opens. You’ll have your pick of produce. Bargain hunters go 30 minutes before closing, when many stands offer discounts.

8. I love free tastes of peaches, too, but they’re samples, not meals. Leave some for others.

9. If you’re new to a market, walk around before buying. You might find a better selection a few booths away.  After you’ve shopped there a few times, get to know your farmers; not only will you get cooking advice, you’ll feel more connected to your food.

10. Want to be a farmer’s best friend? Bring small bills and change.

Found on page 28, August 2012 bon appetit. 

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