Farmers Market Shopping Tips!
Shopping at the farmers market is one of many Australians favourite weekend activity and it is no surprise because of the wide variety of groceries available, organic ingredients, and the fresh air that we can all enjoy.
Here are a few tips to make your farmers market shopping experience a more efficient and enjoyable one!
Know Your Seasons:
If you know a little bit about what to expect in your farmers market, it will definitely help with your planning about what to buy and about what is in season at the moment. Get to know your growers! Ask them what is in season and I am sure they would be delighted to educate you about their crops.
Go Early / or Go Late:
Markets tend to be less crowded right when they open or just before they close. If you are the best selection, be sure to head to the markets early. On the other hand, go to the markets late if you are after the best deals. This is because vendors often discount products before the end of the day and try to sell them off instead of loading them back up and schlepping them home.
Remember Your Shopping Bags!
Your usual reusable bags will generally do the trick. However, an alternative would be a backpack which would make hauling a lot easier, especially for weighty or bulky items.
Remember Your Small Changes as Well!
Although your vendors will make change, purchases will go easier and faster if you have an exact or close to exact change.
Plan Your Meals Before You Head to the Markets:
When you are familiar about the season of crops and its availability in your local farmers market, you can now do a bit of meal planning and shop accordingly. If you know that local asparagus has just come into season and you want to eat some Roasted Asparagus or Asparagus Chickpea Soup, then you’ll know how many bunches of asparagus to buy.
Buy in Bulk:
The best deals at a farmers market is usually obtained when you buy in bulk. Look for fruits / vegetables that are in season or at its harvest peak, and you’re secured in getting the best prices when you buy in large quantities of them.
Think “Whole Foods”
“Whole Foods” refer to food that grows and comes to the farmers market without being processed. For instance, carrots that come in whole and unpeeled, beets that still have greens attached (with some dirt as well). So why bother with the hassle of buying these “whole foods” instead of just buying the processed ones? The answer is flavour. It may take time to clean and remove the unnecessaries, but the quality and flavour that you will get from those crops is well worth the time and effort.
Finally, Just Keep it Simple:
You will be expecting the freshest ingredients that you can get from your local farmers market, and you are absolutely right about that. Hence, let its natural flavour shine when you prepare them for your meals. Keep your preparations simple and you will be able to simply your cooking and it will definitely motivate you to try even more local foods from the farmers market next week.
What are some of the other ways that you are doing to make your experience in the farmers market more enjoyable? Let us know in the comments section below!