It’s a weekly occurrence for many. The farmers market brings the community together and supports local agriculture. From the free samples to the fresh roasted corn to the bundle of produce you’ll get for the week, the farmers market is a great place to be.

However, there are a few things you’re doing at the farmers market that you didn’t know are doing you more harm than good. Read on to make sure you’re not making any of these classic mistakes.

1. Buying From the First Stand You See

Photo by Heather Feibleman

It’s tempting to buy that first basket of glorious red strawberries, but often times there are other vendors selling them much cheaper. Instead of buying from the first vendor in line, scan the entire market from beginning to end, writing down prices in your head (or on paper) and then go back and buy your produce.

#SpoonTip: If you need help deciding whether the fruit is ripe or not, we got you.

2. Not Asking The Vendors Questions

Photo by Carolyn Bresnahan

Asking questions is good for two reasons. One is for you, and specifically your health. It’s assumed that everything at the farmer’s market is organic and not sprayed with pesticides.

It’s important to remember to ask the vendors if they spray their produce. If they say yes, just once before they pick the fruit, then it’s okay (depending if you want your food totally pesticide-free). On the other hand, if they say that spraying is a regular occurrence, you’re better off buying from an organic stand. If you want to know which items are the most heavily sprayed, check ’em out here.

Secondly, asking questions about their produce like “how is this grown?” or even asking “how are you?” lets them know you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say and care about the hard work they put into growing their produce.

3. Not Bringing Your Own Bag

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Yeah, we know, as convenient as the plastic bags are, they’re really terrible for the environment. It’s best just to skip the plastic bags and bring your own reusable ones.

4. Giving In To Buying Everything

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What’s that? Asparagus just came into season and it’s being sold for $1.50 a bunch? The prices can be unbeatable sometimes. But remember, if you’re not planning on eating something or don’t have a recipe in mind to use the item, don’t buy it. This only takes up space in your fridge and wastes food you’re not going to eat.

5. Arriving At The End

Farmers market

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Now, this isn’t always a mistake, but often times, the best quality produce will be taken by this point. So if your goal is to get the ripest fruits, they may not be there by the time the farmers are wrapping up. On the other hand, arriving late can be in your favor because the farmers will need to get rid of their produce; as a result, they may sell it to you for less money or give it away. #Winning

We hope that with these easy tricks, you can conquer the next farmers’ market like a boss and own it.

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