1. View the farmers market as entertainment, not a chore. It really is fun. Think how much produce you can buy for the cost of taking your family to a Saturday matinée. Encourage your friends and neighbors to join you on your outing.
2. Take your children and ask them what they would like to buy. Help them learn about the different fruits and vegetables. Splurge and buy them a pint of strawberries they can eat right there.
3. Take a cooler with a couple of milk jugs of ice. Keep that great produce you buy COLD! until you use it.
4. Don’t go to the farmers market to price shop. Local farmers can’t compete with factory farms prices. You will pay higher prices but you get more for your money. The produce is fresher and tastes better. You help the local economy and improve the environment.
5. Be flexible and build a menu around what the farmers have. Farmers sometimes have recipes for vegetables that you are unfamiliar with. Don’t forget the meat, eggs, and dairy products many local farmers are producing now. If you go just to buy tomatoes or sweet corn, then you are actually hurting the environment with this special trip.
6. Ask the farmers for seconds. Farmers are sometimes anxious to sell lower quality at a reduced price. Often you can’t tell the difference when using these for cooking.
7. If you can’t find what you are looking for (provided it is not out of season) ask the farmers to grow it for you. They are often looking for new crops to grow.
8. When the farmer is not serving other customers have them tell you about their farm.
9. Go to the farmers market on the way to your regular trip to the grocery store. This saves energy and you can buy menu ingredients to supplement what you purchased at the farmers market.
10. USE WHAT YOU BUY! Spoiled vegetables in the refrigerator crisper is a waste of money and discourages you from going back to the farmers market.