7 Pro Tips for shopping the Farmer's Market

Have you ever wandered around a Farmer’s Market, curious but not really sure how the whole thing works? Or, worse, not even gone because it felt too intimidating.

Here’s 7 tips to get you shopping at the outdoor markets like a pro!

  1. Don’t buy the first things you see. Unless it is the last 15 minutes of a market, there is plenty to choose from. Walk around and see how has the best looking and variety of produce. Sometimes I initially bought a lot of squash from one vendor, then found out 4 stalls down someone had perfect green beans - but I didn’t buy them because I didn’t want to go to the trouble of freezing the squash. (And it is not cool to try to “return” food …)

  2. Bring bags. The vendors usually have bags, but bringing your own makes it nicer for you. Some vendors charge for bags, too.

  3. Bring a little cash. Most vendors take credit cards, especially higher ticket items like meat. But some are cash only.

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4. Always ask vendors for advice. They love to share. (If they don’t, move on. The next one will.) Recipes, when a piece of fruit will be ripe, and how food is grown are perfect questions. Many vendors are not certified organic because of the cost involved, but they grow organically.

5. If you are going to be out for over an hour in the hot sun, bring an ice chest for frozen meats and fish.

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6. Wear comfortable shoes. Ladies, if you are going after work and are in heels, bring out that pair of walking shoes you keep in the car. (You do keep a pair of walking shoes in the car for impromptu walks, right?)

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7. Last, if you can plan a few minutes to enjoy the music or watch kids play games, most markets have some type of outdoor entertainment.

Shopping outside can be such a pleasure and when you know what you are doing, it is easy.

Recipe Experiment with new spices and herbs

Sometimes I experiment in the kitchen … the ones that turn out great, I share with you. This stew uses a lot of spices great for digestion, plus some unusual ingredients from the garden. (Yes, I include some dandelion that was growing by the mint and it turned out tasty.)



Citrus and Tarragon Dressing over Salmon

Oh what a treat of a recipe this is. I use fresh tarragon grown in a pot, but you can use dried instead. If you don’t have fresh figs, then dried might do. Or berries - if you serve it over a salad instead of leeks. (I’ve never tried berries with steamed leeks, but it doesn’t sound appealing.)

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Recipe:

  • Salmon fillet

  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, 1 cup

  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons

  • Fresh tarragon and parsley (a couple of tbsp minced each, to taste). A tiny bit of rosemary too, if you like.

  • Fresh figs, quartered

  • Served over steamed rice or cauliflower rice, with steamed leeks

Cook salmon fillets uncovered at 400 F for 15-20 minutes

Cook salmon fillets uncovered at 400 F for 15-20 minutes

Zest lemons, cut and squeeze juice into yogurt. Mince parsley, tarragon, and a bit of rosemary.

Zest lemons, cut and squeeze juice into yogurt. Mince parsley, tarragon, and a bit of rosemary.

After you top the cooked salmon with the yogurt dressing, place the salmon over cooked leeks (about 20 minutes boiling for the leeks). Then top with quartered fresh figs.

After you top the cooked salmon with the yogurt dressing, place the salmon over cooked leeks (about 20 minutes boiling for the leeks). Then top with quartered fresh figs.


A Powerful Plate

Want more power in your life?  Start with two essentials:  sleep and what you put on your plate.  On your plate, it is not as much specific foods for energy, as it is categories of food in certain ratios.

Let me know what your favorites are for your Powerful Plate!