How to navigate your local farmers market like a pro

What’s your favorite thing about spring? Mine is my weekend trips to my local outdoor farmers market. Now that spring has sprung I'm looking forward to spending my Saturday mornings at the farmers market. Farmers markets are a great way to enjoy local produce and goods from nearby farmers and vendors from the community. However, navigating your first trip to the farmers market can be overwhelming. So I’m sharing tips on how to get the most of out your first farmers market experience.


Arrive early

I typically arrive around 7 a.m. so that I can select the best produce and avoid the 9 a.m. crowds. So check your local farmer's market website or social media channels to see what time they open and make sure you are one of the first people to arrive. Because if you arrive after 9 a.m. your selection will be limited. 

Bring a tote bag

If you're like me, you have a ton of disposable tote bags tucked away somewhere at home. Pull one of those bags out and bring a couple with you to the market. They are lightweight and can roll up under your arm. 

Bring a ton of cash

I follow Dave Ramsey's envelope system so I always carry cash but carrying cash is essential when going to the farmers market because some vendors don't take cash. I found this out the hard way two weeks ago when I took a trip to the farmers market without cash and I wanted to purchase something from a vendor, but they didn't take debit or credit cards. 


Come with a plan

Coming to the farmers market with an idea of what you want to spend will help prevent from you overspending. I typically have my meals planned for the next week before going to the farmers market so I arrive with a list of ingredients that I need. I don't buy all of the ingredients from the farmers market, but I do get a lot of produce and fresh bread.

Look around first

I typically take a loop around the farmers market to scope out what's available that day. Not all of my favorite vendors are always there every Saturday, so It helps me assess what to scratch off my list. 

Shop the rainbow

I once received advice from a nutritionist to shop the rainbow when looking for fresh produce and goods. So look for seasonal fruits and vegetables that are rich in a variety of colors. 


Come hungry

Lastly, come hungry. The one thing I love about my trips to the farmers market is visiting the vendors that sell hot foods like homemade biscuits, crepes, soups, and pastries. I typically come ready for breakfast so that I can grab a biscuit with homemade jam from my favorite vendor. 


What farmers markets tips do you have for readers? Share in the comments below. 

Photography by Amber Jane Photography 

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Food, LifeJewel Hazelton