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.

3-in-1 Recipe for Cauliflower-Haters

I admit. I never thought I’d like immersion blenders (after a bad experience years ago). Now? It’s fun seeing what can be pureed.

This recipe has topped my list, because once it is made we eat it as soup, pasta sauce, or as a chicken sauce. Spicy - but not too spicy. Rich - but fresh and light. If you prefer chilled soups, this is probably not going to be a favorite. But who wants chilled soup in January, anyway?