What to look for in a Farmers Market

Shauna Hanus

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It is time for farmers markets. They are popping up all around the country. They can range from a true farmers market with farm fresh produce locally grown and sold by the farmer to more of an arts and crafts show. When shopping at a farmers market the consumer needs to be wary of anyone selling fruit or vegetables that are not locally grown or are out of season. It is becoming common practice for some marketers to purchase the same produce that is available at the grocery and sell it in the farmers market venue.

Here are a few tips on what to look for in a farmers market.

  • Fresh local fruit and vegetables, no commercially grown produce.

  • Good prices, the price should be comparable to the grocery store. You may find that in some areas the farmers market is a bit higher but this can be well worth it if the produce is local and fresh.

  • Look for moist fresh looking produce. If the corn was picked yesterday it will begin to dry out at the bottom. Look for signs that the fruit and vegetables have been harvested within the last day. Do not be afraid to ask when the produce was picked. If it is the farmer you are talking to they are likely to take pride in their selection.

  • Stay away from produce that has been dumped out on a table. The display should say that someone took time to care for the produce and ensure that no bruising has occurred.

  • Look for clearly marked prices. If it is hard to find out home much that apple is you may be dealing with lesser quality produce.

  • Avoid farmers markets that have a lot of crafts. This may be a sign that the area is not based in agricultural and the farmers market may contain mostly commercially produced fruit and vegetables.

    Shauna Hanus is a gourmet cook who specializes in creating gourmet meal plans. She has extensive experience cooking with easy to find grocery items to create delightful gourmet meals. She is also the publisher of a no cost bi-monthly gourmet newsletter. Her newsletter is always fun and informational packed with tips and trivia you can use everyday. http://www.gourmayeats.com

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