Farmers’ market days have, within the last decade, gained prominence in the weekly calendar of family and single shoppers across the world. On these days of the week, local farmers gather in booths and stands, usually in an outdoor space, to sell their farm produce directly to consumers.
These booths and stands make up the farmers’ market. Here, local shoppers get farm-fresh and tasty organic produce harvested hours earlier from local farms right before being brought to the farmers’ market. That way, they put money back into circulation within the local economy and influence the creation of more jobs for the local population.
Farmers’ markets are, however, more than just venues for the exchange of cash for fresh farm produce. They’re a melting pot of culture and eating traditions. They create a very healthy atmosphere for social interaction.
People don’t just attend these farmers’ markets to buy fresh farm produce: they go there to experience the finest of local staple and taste them. For this, attendees are mostly tourists. Farmers’ markets appeal to tourists who’d love to have a taste of local cuisine and produce.
The colorful display of fresh fruits and vegetables in farmers’ markets also inspire healthy eating habits among goers. They most likely end up wanting to take a bite of the numerous fresh produces. The freshness ensures they eventually gravitate from eating junk food to eating healthy.
Are you impressed by what you have heard about farmers’ markets, and can’t wait to attend an upcoming farmers’ market day?
The following list guides you through getting the best experience on your first visit to the local farmers’ market.
Arrive Early, but Be Wary of Speeding Tickets
Your best bet to getting the freshest farm produce at a farmers’ market is an early arrival, just after the vendors have finished unpacking and displaying their food. Early arrival ensures you get to pick from a wide range of very fresh and untouched produce; you aren’t selecting from other shoppers’ leftovers.
Arriving when the farmers’ market is yet to be besieged by shoppers ensures that you get the best service from the vendors by way of full attention and warm reception. And who knows, you might get an early-bird deal, just for being on time.
You can’t get to the farmers’ market early if you don’t know the market hours. To ensure you’re right on time for the farmers’ market, consider finding out the exact days and the opening hours.
If other activities get in the way of your plan to leave early, and you’re racing to beat time and still get the best of farm produce, you’ll have to be wary of speeding tickets.
Having a radar detector like the ones offered at https://mybestradardetector.com/ means you won’t have to slow down your need for speed to catch up with the freshest produce in your local farmers’ market.
This device enables you to detect speed traps before you get to them, ensuring that your need for speed doesn’t dent your license’s record. You also get to protect your shopping budget from the cops’ speeding tickets.
Arrived Late? Make Sure You’re Still Getting Farm Produce as Fresh as they Come
Arriving late to your local farmers’ market day can get you a good bargain just as arriving early: what varies is the bargain. If you have a thing or two for a discount on farm produce at a farmers’ market, you stand a bigger chance at getting it if you arrive for your shopping a moment before the market closes.
Farmers don’t like taking home unsold farm produce. So, if it’s a few hours or minutes to the end of the market day and they still have a substantial amount of unsold stock, their surest bet at getting rid of them is usually to offer them at a discount to shoppers. This discount means better deals than a shopper could’ve gotten earlier on. You might even get to walk home with more fruits and veggies at half the regular price.
Note that there’re exceptions to this. Some farmers’ markets may experience a crowd of shoppers at closing hours. This spike in demand would typically lead to a price hike and leave no room for discount sales. To find out about the perfect time to expect a discount from your local farmers’ market, you need to visit it at different times of the day over an extended period, and then compare your findings.
Taste the Samples Before Buying, but Don’t Cross the Ethical Line
Contrary to the norm in supermarkets, you can take a bite of your favorite fruit before deciding to pay for it in a typical farmers’ market. Tasting helps you make an informed decision about a product before you pay for them. Tasting different products in your local farmers’ market also ensure you can make the right decision about the stuff you need at a particular point in time, thus preventing wastage.
This opportunity to taste farm produce before buying doesn’t, however, mean that you should go around taking a bite of everything like a shameless glutton. This is highly unethical and offensive, especially when the farmer or vendor has no provision for tasting. And if there’s provision for samples, it’s only for shoppers with serious intentions to buy, not those who want freebies.
A substantial amount of the farmers’ overall produce went into preparing these samples, and you know that means the farmers’ profit too. Shoppers should understand and respect this.
Beware of Fraud. Locally Grown Farm Produce Might not be Locally Grown.
If supporting local agriculture is one of your main attractions to the local farmers’ market, then you might be duped. Not all farm produce in your local farmers’ markets is grown locally. They might’ve been sourced through the same wholesale supply chain as the produce in the supermarkets, with the vendors being retailers, not the enterprising neighborhood farmers that you yearn so much to support.
Also, some products in your local farmers’ market might be grown through some sharp, dangerous practices that pose a threat to your health and the safety of the environment.
To prevent yourself from falling victim to these malicious practices of some vendors in your local farmers’ market, consider asking questions about the background of the produce on display.
Questions about where the farm produce was grown and the farmer responsible ensure you have background information about the food you’re purchasing.
As locally-sourced farm products have longer shelf life than those sourced through distant supply chains, asking the vendor of the shelf life of the product you’re about to pay for enables you to find out if it’s locally grown.
Also, asking the vendor if their produce is organic or not creates room for you to demand to see their relevant certifications.
Generally, asking exhaustive questions about the vendor’s farming tools and practices increases your chances of finding out the truth about their products.
If you know what you want walking into your local farmers’ market, you’ll always walk out with a bagful of fresh farm produce gotten at the best bargain. What you want, however, is more than what’s in your shopping list: it also includes your health and safety concerns.
Investigations, like the one in this video, shows that some products in your local farmers’ market might not be locally grown. They may be sourced through the same channel as the products in your local supermarkets and grocery stores.
To find out if the product you’re buying is grown locally, you need to ask the vendors questions about local farming practices, seasons, and all other local farming stuff. There’s a high chance that if they’re not honest as they’re not actually in the know, their responses will come through trembling lips.
As a first-time shopper at a farmers’ market, consider looking out for safety red flags if you’re to go home with products that are as safe and healthy as they’re fresh. Ensure to ask the vendor if their produce is organic, and ask for relevant certification if they respond in the affirmative.
You may not get a 50% percent discount from a vendor who’s just setting-up their produce, but you may get the freshest of fruits or vegetables from them.
You may get a bargain from a vendor who’s left with baskets of yet-to-be-sold produce a few minutes to the close of business, but these products might not be the freshest.
That said, there’ll be no need for you to exceed the speed limit in your bid to get the freshest farm produce in your local farmers’ market if you leave early. However, if you find you need more speed, a radar detector ensures you make it to the farmers’ market without being pulled over by cops who wouldn’t hesitate to stop you and write you a speeding ticket.