Farmers' Market Mini-Guide: Creating A Great Shopping Experience

For myself, I might even classify going to the farmers' market as an event! Eating locally carries health and environmental advantages certainly, but actually shopping there where you can connect with the growers and farmers is in a class of intangible benefits all on its own.  Come see why this way of shopping has so many advantages and how to do it right.

Farmers' markets are an optimal way to shop for the freshest, most delicious and healthiest produce, meats, and bakery items! Tap here to learn the best questions to ask the growers, where to find the best markets and lots more to make your shopping experience your best!



I like the energy at farmers' markets as well as the relaxed atmosphere.  I enjoy the fact it is outdoors and there is often a band playing of some kind. I like seeing what is in season that week and learning why the farmers choose to grow what they do and how to best prepare it.  I go to the regular food markets as well during the week, but I do like to patronize the locals where I can.  Somehow, the experience at the farmers market is just nicer than stacking items on a conveyer belt and scanning a bar code.

There are plenty more reasons to go to your local farmers' market listed further below as well as some other bits of guidance to make your experience valuable and worth coming back for week after week! Scan on down and don't miss the links of other great bits, too, to help you get the most out of your time there.




Why You Should Make a Habit of Going to Your Local Farmers' Market


Besides that big "feel good" benefit, there are plenty of other reasons to consider heading over to your local market or even buying from a community grower. Look at some of these reasons that can benefit you, your community and others:


1.  It supports those beautiful open farmlands and pastures.

We all appreciate gazing at those in our area, don't we?  If the local farms are financially successful, they do not sell out to commercial development.

Don't miss this:  New markets are frequently opening up all over the country.  Go here to find a list of markets and growers in your area.

2.  You can get the best dinner ideas. 

Don't have a clue what to make for dinner?  No problem.  Just wander through the market and you will get inspired.  Talk to the growers as they will tell you the simplest and most delicious ways to prepare their produce and why they are so good for you.


3.  The food is fresher and riper and much, much tastier.  

That is because it is fresher and riper.  The produce is often picked the morning of the market.

Don't miss this:  Your number one tip to make all your food taste fantastic!


4.  More nutrients are present in the fresher and riper foods. 

There are higher levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients in just picked foods ripened naturally.

Don't miss this: Studies say nutrient levels in foods may be higher in organic and fresh foods.


Make your shopping experience at your local farmers' market the best with these great tips to tap into! (The Health-Minded.com) #health


5.  The food is seasonal and sometimes much cheaper.

Strawberries in seasonal June are much cheaper than strawberries at your supermarket in off-seasonal January.  


6.  The free samples are . . . free!

Bring your hunger as that grower may provide samples of those odd looking vegetables you have never tried before.  You may just find a new one to lengthen your list of likes.


7.  You can meet new foods.

The types of seasonal foods and other goods can be abundant. You can find items there not available in the regular stores.


8.  Pick up a stunning flower arrangement to cheer your space.

The most beautiful wild flower selections can be found that will instantly brighten a spot at your house.


9.  Treat yourself to a home-baked good.

Often there is a great selection of homey baked goods and all types of healthful breads are available to bring home. The jams and types of local honey are delicious, too.  


10.  You are helping grow a small business.

No middleman is involved, which leaves a higher profit margin for the farmers and growers, which keeps them coming back to the market in the first place.


Organic food can be a wise choice for many reasons. Make sure to ask these 4 questions to your growers when shopping for it to ensure you are getting what you are seeking.(The Health-Minded.com) #health #organic


How to Ensure The Food Is Really Organic


Get to know your growers! They like connecting with you just as much and want to see what you like, what you want to see more of and how they can do better.

If seeking organic produce, let your growers know it is important to you.  And, if they claim their food is organic, here are some pointed questions to ask to ensure you are getting what you are seeking:

1.  Is this produce certified organic or certified naturally grown? 

You might also ask, depending on the answer, do you have any documentation such as the organic certification certificate?

Don't miss this: A new organic certification for the small grower you should know about!

2.  If not, why?

It costs a lot of money to become USDA organic certified for larger growers, thus, the grower may have chosen not to pursue it. See the link above regarding an alternative: certified naturally grown.

3.  Did you grow this food and if so, with what chemicals?

Some farmers use legitimate organic growing practices but choose not to enter the certification process (as mentioned above).  However, not everyone is upfront as without certification, there's no one checking.   The term "no spray" should be questioned further as there are no regulatory requirements for this term.

4.  May I stop by your farm? 

You may or may not be able to do so or even be interested, but even if you don't have time to visit the farm, it's always a good sign if your farmer is open to the idea of having visitors and questions.

Farmers' markets can be a whole lot of fun and a great way to shop! Before you go, though, make sure you bring along these 3 things to make the experience count! (The Health-Minded.com) #health

3 Things To Bring Along to Your Local Farmers' Market


Besides your appetite, here are some things to grab before you go:

1.  Something to carry your goods.  

A bag or two from home, a basket or a tote all work well.  Also, individual baggies can be helpful, too, for the individual produce and it can help save the landfill.

2.  Green backs and change. 

Cash is always accepted as some growers only take cash - no credit.

3.  Your open mind.  

You never know what strange or even ugly looking vegetable or fruit you may see that could develop into a seasonal favorite.  You may even make a friend along the way at the market as well.


So, what is your favorite way to eat locally in your area? Tried anything new that you liked or didn't like? How did you prepare it?

Note:  This post appeared previously here at THM but was updated and enhanced to provide more current information.
Featured on Urban Naturalle, Debbie in Shapre.

22 comments:

  1. I love farmers markets... we have a big one downtown on Saturdays and we have a smaller one close by that I use. I love buying local and supporting the farmers in my area. As you state the food is fresher :-) ♡

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    1. Two? How ideal! Happy to hear you go often, Launna, and I know those farmers think so too!

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  2. I love farmers markets - everything is so fresh and all the money spent goes to the farmers - no middle men! #sharewithme
    Debbie
    www.myrandommusings.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, that is a great aspect for the farmers and growers - you are right, Debbie! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  3. I don't make it to the farmers market as often as I would like. Ours is really expensive as well but the fruit is so good it's worth it. #wildWednesday linkup

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    1. Some of the growers can hike those prices pretty high. It doesn't hurt to communicate that concern to them. Perhaps the crop yield was low?

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  4. We do not have farmer's markets here. There is a small farm not far from here where I used to get my veggies, but it has been some time already. I need to change it very soon.
    Thank you for sharing it on #TipTuesday!

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    1. I do hope your town will be able to create one soon. It is a great community builder for sure, Debbie.

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  5. What a great guide for people thinking about going to their first farmer's market! I wish I had some here! Thanks for linking up!

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    1. I appreciate your kind words, Michelle! Thanks for telling me and pass it on to the "newbies!"

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  6. I L O V E farmers' markets!!

    My hubby does too but i think mostly because of #6 free samples :)

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    1. Oh, I love those samples, too, Sarah! So smart as I almost always buy after that! Thanks for adding in to the convo.

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  7. I love participating in a local farmshare through my employer, and in Philadelphia we have the Reading Terminal Market, an amazing farmer's market! I think they are growing in popularity, which is great!

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    1. Farmers' markets are growing because people see the value. They are even on college campuses, too, which is wonderful! Sounds like you have great choices, Janelle!

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  8. What a great post and a beautiful blog you have sweetie!
    I would like to invite you to check out mine and let me know what you think! :)

    Check out my last post: How to Forgive No Matter the Offense
    Diana Bryant (Life Coach)
    www.ManhattanImageandStyle.com – Blog
    www.DianaBryant.com – Web

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    1. Thanks so much, Diana! I will make sure to pop over and hope some of the other readers do as well.

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  9. Thanks for this great blog post about the farmers' market mini-market guide. I go to a farmer's market every week and love them for all the reasons you mentioned. I learned something new from your post. The point about certification for naturally grown produce is new to me. In fact, there's a market nearby I didn't even know existed until I checked out the link you provided. Saw you at the HHGN Blog hop. Look for me there too. I wrote 15 one minute health boosters and food safety and your right to know. Warm regards, Nancy A@obloggernewbie.blogspot.com

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    1. So glad you learned something new here at THM! Please come by and add in again and I will be sure to check out your post as well.

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  10. I love to shop at my local farmer's market. I get such a nice sense of community there. We have lots of local farmers plus composting centers and recycling centers at our market, so thank you for sharing this farmers market guide at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing.

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    1. Sounds like an expansive market near you, Deborah! So glad you take advantage of it!

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  11. These are great tips I wish we had farmers markets nearer to us to shop at. Such a great food. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me, I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great round. #sharewithme

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    1. I hope one starts up near you, Jenny, very soon! Thanks for coming by!

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