How to Shop at Farmers Markets
The farmers' market is Chef Sam Talbot's home away from home, and he shares his trade secrets for getting the most out of your trip to browse what your local farmers have on offer. From the best time to buy produce to creating great relationships with the farmers themselves, learn all you need to know to come home from the market with a (reusable) bag brimming with the season's best.
Step 1: Info Booth
The first thing to do at a farmer's market is go to the information booth. They will provide charts and maps which will give you the lay of the land so you can figure out who has what and where.
Step 2: Don't Rush
Set aside some time when you go the idea is to enjoy yourself and see and maybe sample as much as you can.
Step 3: Discipline
Don't buy a thing until you have seen all your options. So often people buy a bunch at the first booth only to find better stuff a moment later.
Step 4: 2-Week Rule
Avoid buying fruits and veggies in the first two weeks of their seasons; if you wait until the third and fourth week, the prices drop dramatically -- then buy in bulk and freeze.
Step 5: Au Naturale
It is a Farmer's Market -- the stuff is from the farm so if you see dirt or bugs don't worry, it's natural. Literally.
Step 6: Make Friends
Try and establish relationships with vendors, in addition to demonstrating you possess healthy social skills, these folks will take care of you if they like you. Besides who doesn’t need a “cucumber guy?”
Items You'll Need
- Large Bag
- Comfortable Shoes