By Alexandra Nucci, Registered Nutritionist
Farmers’ markets in the city can be a super fun outing, especially in the warm summer months. There’s really no better way to experience fresh, local goods than by shopping at a farmers’ market. I love strolling the booths of bountiful produce and chatting with local merchants, a literal farm-to-table experience you’d never get at a grocery store.
Below I’m sharing my top 5 favourite tips to ensure a relaxed and successful market shop.
1. Do an initial walkthrough
It’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed at a farmers’ market, especially if it’s your first trip. Take the pressure off by simply taking a stroll through the market first to peek at the booths, and take note of anything that peaks your interest. Most vendors will even offer a sample or two!
2. Decide the best time to go
Early ventures to the farmers’ market means the sun won’t be as hot, it won’t be overly crowded, and you’ll get first dibs on the goods! However later in the day is when you’ll find the best deals, as vendors tend to discount their products towards the end of market day.
3. Talk to the farmers
Farmers and vendors are more than happy to talk to you and answer any questions you may have. They can tell you things like how their products are grown, their origins, and how to best prepare them. The full insider scoop!
4. Make a list
The same way you’d make a list to grocery shop, do the same with a market shop. Markets will always have a list of vendors for you to research ahead of time. It also helps to know what foods are in season and what are not, so you know what you can expect.
5. Don’t fear the dirt
Conventional grocery store produce has been sprayed and shined to appear glistening and irresistible. Farm fresh produce is in its most natural state possible, which often means a little bit of dust and dirt, and maybe a feather or two. Nothing a quick rinse won’t fix!