Tips for Shopping At Farmers’ MarketsIt was recently announced that Wisconsin ranks 8th in the country for the number of farmers’ markets. Whether you live in Wisconsin or elsewhere, here are some tips for shopping at farmers markets.
- Since many customers know what they are likely to find at the farmers’ market, do a bit of meal planning and shop accordingly. For example, if baby red potatoes have just come into season, plan to serve them boiled with a little butter and use the leftovers in a potato salad.
- Visit farmers’ markets when you travel. It is a way to get an insider’s look at a food community and the local favorites.
- You’re buying ultra-fresh produce when shopping at the farmers’ market, so let its natural flavor show when cooking it. Keep preparations simple. You’ll make cooking easier and you’ll be likely to try (and eat) even more local foods from the farmers market next week.
- Spend a few minutes chatting with producers at the farmers' market, and you will be, too. It takes tremendous dedication to both science and art to turn out beautiful produce on a small farm, and the time you spend inquiring about the results of that dedication can yield both useful information and infectious enthusiasm.
- A huge benefit of farmers' markets is your ability to ask questions about how the food was grown. That's a rare opportunity in our supermarket culture. Ask what produce is coming in or heading out of season. Find out what the farmer expects to bring to market next week so you can start to plan ahead. Learn all you can about the farmer's growing practices.