How to Navigate the Farmers' Market

| Living

There’s nothing like walking around in the open air of a summertime farmers market. With so many vendors, where do you begin? Most farmers' markets only accept cash, so stop by the ATM first (most vendors appreciate small bills). Be open to trying new produce and products that you usually don’t go for at the grocery store. You’ll likely walk out with some delicious goods and a happy wallet.

farmers market

What you won’t buy at the store. Keep in mind that farmers markets provide fresh, locally grown produce. The produce will likely be what farmers can grow in your region. If your usual grocery list doesn’t include peaches, this is your opportunity to go pick up a dozen peaches. For potatoes, green beans, turnips and more, take a few home to make a special treat for yourself like a big green salad, or click here for a vegan potato salad recipe.

Go for bulk. Most vendors will have their products stored in crates, boxes or bags with an option to buy the bag for a decent price. Buying a few individual items may actually cost more. Go ahead and buy in bulk.

Avoid “haggling.” Of course you want a deal! But trying to negotiate a lower price is almost insulting to the vendor. They created their products by hand and developed what they believe is a fair price. If it seems high, ask questions: How do you grow it? What makes this better than others? Maybe you’ll find there’s a method behind the madness. Plus, you’ll learn more about what you’re about to eat!

picture: blog.uwgb.edu

Eat and drink while you’re there. Order a smoothie or waffle and sit down. Part of being at the market is allowing yourself to have a full experience. You might end up meeting new people or enjoying some local music. Use it as a chance to bring a girlfriend for a solid catch-up chat.

>> Read more: 12 New Girls' Night Ideas Without the Guilt

Bring your own bags. Vendors might offer plastic bags, but bring your own. A bag you can throw over your shoulder or onto your back would be ideal so your hands can be free. Using your own bag also compliments the eco-friendly nature of the market. Click here for cute bags you can use!

Make a lap. To bring some order to the overwhelming excitement you feel when you walk into the market, try making a round first. No pressure to buy anything; just observe and record. By the time you begin the second lap, you’ll have a better idea of the spots you want to stop by and those that seem to disappear.