Farmer’s Market Insider Tips

Written by MjauAugust 23, 2018

I L O V E markets (just check here)!

Not only is it an excellent way to cut out plastic from your life, you also get fresh produce much cheaper than you would in the grocery store. You are also supporting local and family businesses AND by doing so taking the power back to our communities + you’re cutting down on food miles, or how far your food is traveling. Oh, and I did not even mention how fun it is with all the people, colors, textures and smells.

However, for some people, going to the market can be quite confusing. Let me do the rundown so that you can make the most of your next market run!

B.Y.O.B 

= Bring your own bags! Small, big, paper, textile, net… anything goes 😀 This one is a major life key to cut out plastic and save our oceans!

Early or late riser?

Anytime goes, but as a rule; early birds snags the best produce while you’ll get good discounts being among the last.

Organic vs. all-natural?

In order to label their produce organic, farmers must get government-certified. This, however, doesn’t mean every stall without such certification uses pesticides. Many farmers use  organic farming practices, but since the USDA organic certification is both costly and long, they may instead of opting for this simply say ‘no pesticides’ or ‘all-natural.

The best way to know what’s up with the produce in front of you is to ask the farmer behind it about their practices.

Beauty on the inside.

Another thing to consider is not to judge a book by its cover. In other words, why not pick the ugly, asymmetrical produce? If you are not sure about the taste, ask for a sample and try it out for yourself.

I change like the seasons.

Buy what’s in season. Obviously, say Stockholm and Los Angeles will not have the same schedule for produce, but the following list is a general guide:

Spring: Strawberries, asparagus, peas, younger tender greens, some stone fruit (apricots, cherries)

Summer: Tomatoes, some stone fruit (peaches, plums), berries (blackberries, raspberries), summer squash, eggplants, hot peppers (late summer), chard, beets, winter squash (since these store well, they’re often available year-round)

Fall: Winter squash, pumpkins, persimmons,  pomegranates, kale, chard, beets, carrots, root vegetables

Winter: Persimmons, pomegranates, greens, chard, kale, winter squash, root vegetables

For more detailed information, you can search seasonality by state using the Seasonal Food Guide website or app.

Stretch it.

If you’re obsessed with a certain fruit or vegetable, buying in-season via farmers’ markets can sometimes be a bummer—it means that some types of produce may make only a limited appearance on your table.

There’s an easy solution for this; buy in bulk and can or freezeeeeee! 😀

Stalk a chef.

Hehe, maybe not in person (or if you have to plz dont blame it on me) but on social media! A lot of chefs will # or @ the vendors and markets they go to. Don’t know which one to follow? Search for Farm to Table restaurants in your city to get started.

Talk it out.

Not sure what something is, or how to prepare it, or even whether or not it’s ripe? Just ask. It’s really the best way to find the answer to your question, plus it’s nice to interact with other people every once in a while 😛