Top 5 Tips for Farmers Market Shopping

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Follow these quick and easy tips that will have you shopping at your farmers market like a pro.

Follow these quick and easy tips that will have you shopping at your farmers market like a pro.As the Green Movement has grown in popularity, so has the ability to get fresh, local ingredients. Farmer’s markets are popping up throughout America and with good reason too. Sure, grocery stores are convenient and stocked full of produce but most of the fruits and vegetables have been traveling for weeks or more before they ever reach your cart. Most fruits are picked while they are still unripe, only to be transferred several miles by boat or plane, and then stored in a warehouse where they are sprayed down with gasses to cause quick ripening. Produce at the store is often full of harmful pesticides or has been the subject of genetic modification. You can avoid all this by shopping at your locals farmers market. By simply being prepared, you can shop smarter and even make some healthy choices along the way. Here are the top five tips for famers market shopping.

Follow these quick and easy tips that will have you shopping at your farmers market like a pro.       1. Know Your Seasons: Farmers markets provide the freshest ingredients possible. Know what is in season ahead of time will help you get a rough idea of what sort of meals you should plan for during the week. If Spring is in full bloom, you can generally expect to see an abundance of asparagus or strawberries! Plan your meals after your shopping is done, based off of what is fresh.

Follow these quick and easy tips that will have you shopping at your farmers market like a pro.      2. Buy in Bulk: You will get the very best bang for your buck, buying in bulk. Produce at the farmer’s market is picked at it’s peak of freshness. Once you get home, divide the produce into what you are going to use that week and freeze the rest for a later time. If you are feeling extra crafty, you can experiment with canning and preserving as well.  You will be thanking yourself when you have fresh ingredients to enjoy once their season has ended. As a bonus, farmers will usually offer a better deal for goods bought in bulk.

Follow these quick and easy tips that will have you shopping at your farmers market like a pro.      3. Go Early: They say “The early bird gets the worm.” Well it couldn’t be more true for farmers markets. The freshest and most beautiful ingredients are the first to go. Show up early for the best selection and less crowds. You can find out where your local farmers markets are and their hours of operation on this website 

Follow these quick and easy tips that will have you shopping at your farmers market like a pro.      4. Come Prepared: Bags at farmers markets can often be flimsy. Do yourself a favor and bring your own bag or totes to make shopping more convenient. You will also be helping the environment by saving on plastic bags! Also, bring small bills and coins! Having change on you will help expedite the shopping process. Farmers often have cash boxes but if you go early there is a chance that they may not have adequate change to work with yet.

Follow these quick and easy tips that will have you shopping at your farmers market like a pro.      5. Purchase a “Green Cleaner”: A major bonus of shopping at the farmers market is that the produce is fresh and unprocessed. So therefore the food will still be in its natural state. After purchasing your produce, you will need to process and wash all your fresh ingredients a little more throughly then you would of those at the grocery store. It is possible that the greens or root vegetables may still have dirt on them. Find an organic cleaner that you like and prep all your produce when you arrive home, before storing and eating. You can even make your own at home. All you need to do is make a mixture of water, vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice and then use it as a spray, rinse or soak.

My local farmers market is right on the beach and is one of our favorite weekly activities. Baby Stella loves to help me shop for ingredients and always seems to get me in good rapport with the local vendors. That little girl has an eye for a deal. 😉  By shopping seasonly, we get to enjoy the freshest produce possible. You haven’t lived unless you have indulged in a big, juicy strawberry as spring melts away the winter blues.  Below are a few of my favorite ways to use local ingredients.

Farmer’s Market Recipes: 

A stunning fruit tart that will impress any guest. This tart is made high in protein with greek yogurt and an easy 4-ingredient quinoa crust. Gluten free!

Fresh Fruit Tart with Quinoa Crust

A healthy breakfast power muffin filled with juicy berries, quinoa, and oatmeal. Everything you need to start your day and to leave you feeling satisfied till lunch time.

Berry Quinoa Power Muffins 

A perfect spring salad filled with juicy strawberries, candied pecans, goat cheese, tender greens and a simple strawberry balsamic vinaigrette.

Strawberry Chicken Salad with Strawberry-Balsamic Dressing 

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Comments

  1. says

    These are such great tips, Mariah! The farmer’s markets aren’t quite ready to be opened by me yet, but I will have to remember this. I do try to go early too, as that’s the best time! Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE this post so much, Mariah! You are making me seriously SO excited for farmer’s market season to start here—just a few more weeks! The photography in this post is seriously so stunning and I love love LOVE that photo of Stella waving over your shoulder. So stinkin’ cute. 🙂

    • Mariah Mercurio says

      I always forget about the limitations with produce. But I think that LONG maternity leave makes up for it. 😉

  3. says

    Love the farmers market this time of year! They have so much good produce. Love all these tips. And LOVE these pictures! I love the idea of a little family session at the Farmers Market. You are GORGEOUS Mariah! And could Stella be any cuter? No.

  4. says

    Such a great post, Mariah! Farmer’s markets are so fun – I’m like a kid in a candy store when I’m shopping for fresh produce! Great photos!! You look amazing and Stella is just too adorable. Beautiful family! 🙂

  5. says

    Great post Mariah! Your daughter is so cute! And I love your tips, can’t wait for farmer’s market season to begin here! Love the pictures!

  6. says

    I love this post, Mariah! My weekly trips to the farmers markets are one of my favorite activities. And I agree with everything you said here. Although I almost never make it to the markets early anymore! I’m slow in the mornings! Your photos (and YOU!) and just gorgeous! XO

    • Mariah Mercurio says

      Oh geez, I can’t even tell you how slow I am in the morning! But the farmers market gives me a little motivation (emphasis on little)
      Thanks for all the sweet words Liz!!

  7. says

    I cannot WAIT to get to our local farmer’s market! I always end up buying way more produce than I intended, but with everything so juicy and fresh, how could I not? Love these tips, Mariah! You and your fam are gorgeous! Love Stella’s smile. 🙂

    • Mariah Mercurio says

      I am the same way. I over buy on purpose so I can freeze things. 😉
      Thanks for the sweet words Alyssa!

    • Mariah Mercurio says

      Thanks Bri!
      They seriously do. Just the strawberries alone are SOO much better at my local farmers market than at my regular grocery store. Better produce always means better food =)

    • Mariah Mercurio says

      I keep forgetting that the every where else is still cold! Southern California has the same weather year round basically…and apparently a drought too. =/

  8. says

    Girl, you are so gorgeous! Tell me…if I eat all the veggies and fruits at the farmers market can I have hair and skin like yours?! My goodness!
    And I was just telling my mom, how excited I am for the spring weather so I can start going to the farmers market again! Thanks for all these great tips! Happy Monday 🙂

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