Visiting your local farmers’ market is a great way to support your community and get some great produce and other items. You can spend the whole day looking at local art, crafts, baked goods, all supporting your community.
A trip to the farmers’ market shouldn’t be something you do on a whim. It takes planning and preparation. Going in prepared will help you make the most of the day and enjoy yourselves.
Planning For the Farmers’ Market
Be prepared to spend some time at the market. There will often be plenty to see and do. You may run into people you know, you may discover new foods you want to try, and you never know what to expect.
Who Is Going
You need to make provisions for people that are taking the trip with you. If you have kids, they may need a change of clothes, diapers, bandages, or something to amuse them in the car.
For the senior in your life, make sure they are up to the challenge. Check that they have proper shoes, walking support if needed, sun protection, and medications they may need.
Many farmers’ markets are only open on certain days, like the weekend. Leaving early helps you beat the traffic, find parking, avoid the crowds, and ensure there are still items left that you want.
In particular, if you have smaller kids and older people, it can be overwhelming for everyone. The market can get busy, so get in early, get what you want, and then get out before the place is swarmed.
Visit the Information Booth
On your way in, stop by the info booth. They will often have a map of the grounds and a list of all the vendors. This can help you save a lot of time. There are always local artists, baked goods, and other items on sale.
There may even be cooking demonstrations, contests, prizes, and other special guests there that are not always a regular part of the market lineup. It’s a great way to learn about new foods, find great locally-made goods, and meet people.
Take Bags, Containers, or a Cart
You don’t want to have to say no to buying items simply because you can’t carry them all. Take plenty of carry bags, boxes, and even sealable plastic containers you can put things in to protect them.
A wagon or push buggy can also come in really handy. You can load it up and it can hold all the things you buy. It is great for heavier or bulky items you don’t want to lug around across your shoulder all day.
Check out Everything
Take your time and look around. You don’t need to buy the first things you see, simply because they look good. There are going to be plenty of options and the prices are also going to vary.
Take cash with you, as many vendors may not all have electronic payment methods. You don’t want to miss out on some great deals because they can’t accommodate your debit or credit card.
Once you have seen all the stands, buy the items that are most perishable just before you are ready to leave. You don’t want your fresh berries to be squashed underneath the watermelon you buy later.
Plan for Lunch
One of the best parts of the farmer’s market is the prepared foods. You can get all kinds of international foods for a great price. Try a few items from different booths to enjoy all the flavors there is to offer.
You can also use your plastic sealable containers to bring some of these goodies home. Once you have sampled several of them, get more to take with you and you can enjoy them at home or share them with friends and family.
Enjoy The Day
Don’t feel you need to rush through. Take the time to sample some food, ask a lot of questions, and enjoy what is on display. Don’t get bogged down in the crowd and feel like you need to just grab a few things and get out.
If you are overwhelmed, grab a coffee or cold drink and sit down. A bit of relaxing people-watching will have you recovered and back to it in no time. You came all this way, enjoy it.
If you or someone with you has mobility or medical concerns that might make a visit to the farmers’ market difficult or worrisome, consider getting a medical alert system. This will give you and your family the peace of mind to know that if they need help, it will be there right away.