Last weekend I decided it was worth visiting the farmers market near my home. For some reason, it took me nearly 8 months to finally get my butt to it. But I decided it was time to visit my local farmers’ market for plant-based goodies.
Besides, it was finally warm out.
I grabbed my big, ugly reusable bag and made my way to the farmers’ market. I was immediately drawn to the stacks of packaged hummus on a table. “Garlic. I want to try that garlic one,” I pointed. I knew it was love at first sight when I read the words GARLIC.
But no, it wasn’t love at first sight.
It was love at first bite.
And that first taste was even better: a hummus that didn’t taste like hummus at all, but tasted like a garlic dream. I was sold. But before I could even hand my money in, the vendor at the table had me try all of their popular flavors. I thought I was going to just grab the garlic hummus, but I ended up dropping 3 different flavors into my bag.
While I was at the farmer’s market, I was able to sample a ton of foods, including honey, pita bread, and homemade chips. Sampling at farmers’ market is actually pretty usual. It’s a great way for consumers to get an idea of what they want before the buy. It also gives vendors the opportunity to reel prospective consumers into purchasing their products.
In addition to food sampling, here are other perks to visiting a farmers’ market:
It’s As Fresh As It Gets
You’re pretty much guaranteed to get the freshest produce possible at farmers’ market. Another food item I was able to sample was a deep crimson strawberry that was perfectly sweet and juicy. It wasn’t bitter. It wasn’t soggy. It was perfect.
Produce at the farmers’ market are freshly picked and brought in to the market – meaning you’re getting dibs to to the freshest out there.
Know Exactly Where Your Food Is Coming From
When you’re purchasing produce or other food items at the farmers’ market, you know exactly where your food is coming from. The great thing is that you have a vendor there ready to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your purchase.
While at the farmers’ market, we were able to ask questions like how long we can keep the hummus in the fridge (sidenote: it didn’t last long in my fridge – we ate them within days), or what kind of honey we were buying.
At a grocery store, it’s a bit more challenging to find someone who may be an expert of a particular product you’re purchasing. At farmers’ market, you have that direct access.
They Care About Their Food
The folks selling their produce and other food items at the farmers’ markets really care about what they’re producing and they want to make sure their customers become true and loyal fans. It’s not about quickly getting food off the shelf — no matter what, it’s about delivering high-quality food to the community.
Running Late? It’s Ok!
If you’re nearly missing the farmers’ market and it’s about to close off, it’s still worth stopping by. You may find some unsold food still waiting to get picked up and you may be able to get a deal.
But don’t count on it or haggle – vendors might be gracious, but you don’t want to push your luck. Remember, they’re trying earn a living too.
Yes, they are affordable. When I was first introduced to the whole farmers’ market thing, I was a bit skeptical. I imagined the prices being exorbitant and the foods being too exotic for my taste. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Farmers’ markets are selling what’s currently in season, at a very good price.
Farmers’ markets are a great way to meet new people, get outside, and learn more about the produce your buying. Even if I don’t go home carrying bags of food, I always come with a few really awesome finds and happy that I got to be around great people from my community.
Is it worth visiting your local farmers market? Hell yes it is.