Know what’s in season and embrace it.
Things are always in flux at market and weather plays a huge role.
Embrace the idea that you might not find tomatoes when you want them but when you do…boy, you sure will be happy!
Follow the seasons…if you’re curious when certain fruits or vegetables might be available, don’t hesitate to ask…
Know Thy Farmer
<— Greg Swartz,
Willow Wisp Organic Farm
Farmers are happy to tell you about their products. From how their produce is grown to ideas and suggestions on eating and cooking, they typically have lots to share.
This is your opportunity to know your farmer and where your food comes from – so ask questions.
Not sure what to ask? Start with growing practices – are chemicals, fertilizers, etc…being used? Is the farm certified organic? If not, do they use organic practices and what does that mean? Shopping for meat? Ask what the cows and chickens are being fed. Are they on pasture?
Don’t assume that just because you are at a farmers’ market that every farmer has the same practices. From beyond organic to chemical sprays, practices vary from tent to tent. Investigate and find where you comfort lies…
Don’t know what that is?
Experimenting with new foods is one of the best parts of market. Most farmers will have a few ideas on how to prepare the unusual’s like ramps, fiddlehead ferns, Jerusalem artichokes and more. We can still remember when Kale was a new one for us. Keep trying; taste buds change and evolve.
Purchase a small amount, experiment and then, stock-up next time if you enjoyed 😉
Pack a Reusable Tote & Cash
It goes without saying, the less plastic the better. Help cut down on wasteful plastic bags and bring a few reusable totes. A small soft cooler with ice packs is also a fabulous idea to keep meat, dairy, eggs (and your NCK eats and treats 😉 cool.
Having enough cash is also handy. Small bills (especially dollar bills) are always appreciated. Some vendors take credit cards – if you’re not sure, just ask.
Bring the Family
Make market day a family affair! Strolling through market, learning about where your food comes from and sampling some great food is the perfect outing for everyone especially the little ones.
Kids are quite receptive to all the colors, shapes and new foods that lay before them. Encourage them to try something new each time you visit. Introduce them to the farmers, encourage them to ask questions too! Our only hope is that the next generation will pick up the torch and bring food back to the people!