Going to the farmers’ market is one of the best parts of summer. They inspire visitors to eat cleanly, a reset that all students could use during a stressful school year. In supporting local growers, bakers, and florists, you might find new varieties of food and even better deals than the grocery store (or Whole Foods, for that matter). For first-time shoppers, the unfamiliar layout of individual vendors can be daunting. Fear not, I have a step-by-step guide to mastering the art of the market.
Ask what’s in season
Growers love to talk about their products. If you don’t regularly check a produce calendar for a list of what’s in season, simply ask. Buying in season guarantees the fruit or vegetables will be at their tastiest and full of the most nutrients possible. Plus, you never know what you might learn by striking up a conversation.
#SpoonTip: Ask for free samples. Usually, they’re happy to oblige.
Enjoy more than just the food
Often, farmers’ markets have more than just farmers. Jewelry makers, local boutiques, or even tents for upcoming events might make an appearance. They are a great place to explore or learn about what is going on in the area.
Eat from local restaurants
Go to farmers’ markets around lunchtime to grab a bite from a local restaurant’s tent. Often, they set up booths just like the growers, enabling you to chow down on their popular menu items without having to sit down and wait. Plus, you can nibble on your food as you walk around. Huge win.
#SpoonTip: Go with friends or family and each get something from a different restaurant in order to try a little bit of everything.
Take lots of pictures
With such bright, vibrant fruit and vegetables and delicious-looking food all around you, it would be a crime not to snap pictures of it all. To say the least, farmers’ markets are the perfect snap story venue or Instagram opportunity.
Appreciate the artists
Many farmers’ markets bring in artists to share their work. There, you can find beautiful paintings, hand-crafted wood workings, and intricate pottery pieces unlike anything you will find in a store.
#SpoonTip: If on vacation, you may find a better souvenir at a farmers’ market than any two-bit t-shirt stand.
Take in the fresh air
Outside farmers’ markets only come around from spring to early fall, so be sure to appreciate the good weather while it lasts. Studies have shown that spending more time outside leads to healthier lifestyles. Use these markets as the perfect opportunity to get out and soak up some Vitamin D.
Use what you buy
After a nice morning or afternoon at the market, you can now go home and cook all your yummy finds. Whether you are meal prepping for the week or preparing a delicious meal for yourself and friends, you can feel good about what you are putting in your body.