How to make the most of fresh produce markets
There are so many produce markets around Australia and it is the best way to buy locally grown, delicious, nutritious and cost-effective food for the family. But those who go on the regular will tell you there is an art to making the most out of markets. Here are tips from some of our team to help you on your next market adventure…
Know your seasons
Market shopping means buying your produce based on what is in season. By knowing what fruits and vegetables are in season, you can plan meals ahead or at least have an idea of what you will be able to get. Click here to take a look at our seasonal produce guide.
Talk to the growers
Talking to the growers will help you to understand what farming techniques they use, learn about their farms, get to know them as people and will bring you so much happiness – honestly! It means every trip to the market is like catching up with a friend. By understanding where your food comes from, how it was grown and by who, you connect with your eating on a whole new level and it is so important for sustainability.
Go for volume
Buying in bulk is a great way to feed a family and most market sellers will give you a discount for it. Things like sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, onions, garlic and anything else you know you use a lot are perfect to stock up on and it will save you some money.
Get your bags ready
If you’re going for fruit and veg, bring plenty of eco-friendly bags that can handle a fair bit of weight. If you’re hoping to buy any cheeses, dairy or meat, bring freezer bags or have an esky in the boot with a few ice packs ready to go.
Bring cash and small change
Organise your cash before you go so you have notes and small change to use. We live in a world where cash is not very common anymore, so help the growers out by having small change and giving them as close to the right amount as possible.
Get your timing right
The best time to go to the markets is early – it’s when the largest quantities of things are available and it’s the freshest. The second-best time is at the end of the day because things might be discounted and it won’t be quite as busy.
Make an experience out of it
Buying fresh produce should be a happy experience, so get a cup of coffee from the market’s coffee van, bring a friend, bring your dog and get some breakfast from a local café afterwards. It’s a productive outing that lets you support farmers and eat better!