(Photo: @Canyon Farmers Market via Facebook)
This is your perfect farmer’s market guide. If you use these tips to inform your shopping you can be sure you’ll make it home with everything you need in just the right amount. You won’t waste a thing and you won’t blow your budget. Here’s part two of how you can get the most from your farmer’s market trip.
6. Make Sure You Have Cash
It’s best to treat the farmer’s market like garage sales. Make sure you have cash on hand to buy what you want, and consider setting an amount you don’t want to exceed. You’re going to see lots of things that look delicious, and the last thing you want to do is overspend. Remember, you can only eat so much before it goes bad. The one time we don’t follow this rule is when we want to stock up on supremely ripe veggies for canning or high volume needs.
7. Get the Discounted Goods
What’s the worst thing about juicy, ripe fruit? It bruises easy. While we love picking out the plumpest, unblemished pieces, you can save a lot by asking for the bruised pieces. Of course it won’t be as good if you plan on eating it whole, but that’s not the only thing fruit is good for. The bruised fruits and vegetables can be half the price and it’s perfect for chopping up for jams or pies. These fruits are also great for smoothies. Don’t rule out bruised fruit. Buy it; it’s worth it.
8. Time Your Arrival Just Right
This can be a tricky one, because it depends on what you’re looking for. Most farmer’s markets have some pretty popular items. For instance, eggs are always a hot commodity. They disappear fast. If you want to get a high-demand item, you need to make sure you get there early. If you want something, there’s a good chance someone else will also. But, it can also be advantageous to arrive late. If some of a vendors ripest fruits and vegetables don’t sell throughout the day, they may be more inclined to give great deals around closing time. We’re not saying it’s a sure thing, but it’s worth a try. It could benefit you both.
9. Ask Anything You Want
This is self-explanatory, and we’ve already hit on it a little bit, but ask questions. One of the biggest benefits of eating from a farmer’s market is the opportunity it affords you to truly know your food. Don’t waste the opportunity to connect with your food and fellow Llano Estacado dwellers.
10. Use These Tips and Plan
You can get swept up in the race of it all if you’re not careful. People hustle to get what they’re after, and if you’re not careful you can make some rash decisions. Just remember, it’s not an auction. You don’t have to race. A great way to stay on budget and focused on what you need is by making a list or taking a recipe. This ensures you won’t buy more than you’ll eat, but you’ll be sure to get everything you need.
Get out there and experience your Llano Estacado foodshed. Have any tips we didn’t cover? Be sure you leave them in the comments below.