How To Shop At A Farmer’s Market

— Anna Dorsey

With the Charlottesville Farmer’s Market opening just around the corner, check out our tips on how to make the best out of your visit!

1. Before you Leave make sure you are wearing comfortable walking shoes and have your own bag to carry your newly purchased local goodies in!

2. Bring Cash

~ Many venders do not take cards. Show up with cash so you never have to pass up a delicious deal. It will stop you from buying out the entire market by sticking to your budget!

3. Do A Lap First

~ I often get overwhelmed with the endless options of fresh goodies! Checking out all of the booths before making a purchase allows me to see what other stands are out there… and maybe better deals!

4. Come with a Recipe in Mind

~ Sometimes I find myself buying great produce, but I come home and I suddenly have no clue how to eat it! Know what veggies are in season, and then think of something you can make from them. It can also be fun to split up ingredients with friends, and cook a meal together later!

~ Here is some inspiration to do with local spring produce!

Quinoa “Fried” Rice

Spring Vegetable Stew

Summer Greens Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Raspberry Vinaigrette

Strawberry Rhubarb Snack Cake

5. Ask Questions!

~ With the farmer or vender right there, take advantage of the personal opportunity. Get to know the farmer who actually grew and cared for your food.  They always love chatting about their items!

~ If you did not come with a recipe in mind, ask the vendor how they like to cook with their produce or products! They will also be happy to tell you the best way to store your food as well.

6. A Little Dirt Won’t Hurt!

~ Make sure to rinse your food before diving into a delicious fresh salad filled with your farmer’s market purchases! A little dirt can’t be as scary as all those chemicals being added to your grocery store foods!

7. Go Early or Come Later

~ Arriving early to the farmer’s market allows you to beat the crowd, and have first pick on all the freshest produce! Think about how short the line for the Mexican Tacos will be!

~ Going Late sometimes means better deals on produce! The Farmers hate to see their products go to waste and would love to strike a bargain with you!

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