9 Tips to Navigate the Farmer’s Market

“Bluerasps” are among my boys’ favorite summertime treats. My oldest invented this delicacy a few years ago at a local farmers’ market. He stuck a blueberry inside a raspberry  . . . and presto! He invented a new treat!

Farmers’ markets “save” me in the summer.  Basket upon basket of fresh, healthy fruit helps me satisfy my family’s appetite for “bluerasps,” peaches, cherries, etc.

You may love farmers’ markets like me. But are you a whiz at getting the most out of your visit? Do you know which produce is in season, how to keep your veggies safe and other tips?

If not, you’ll want watch the following videos by Janette Westman, a health & wellness expert at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. We’ve highlighted a few of Janette’s tips in the story below.

Video: Why eat local?

Tips:

  1. When you buy foods from local farms, you’re likely eating in-season foods that are at their peak for flavor and freshness.
  2. For August and September, aim for in-season produce, including sweet corn, green beans, apples, grapes, peppers and eggplant.

Video: How to keep farmers’ market goods safe and fresh

Tips:

  1. Keep produce separate from meat, eggs and other dairy items.
  2. When you get home with your produce, wash it with water. Berries are the exception. If you want your berries to last longer, wait to wash them until right before you’re ready to eat them.
  3. Most produce, such as berries and broccoli, keep fresh in the fridge. Tomatoes and bananas, however, are best preserved on your kitchen counter.

Farmers’ market shopping tips

Tips:

  1. Bring reusable bags, cash and a shopping list.
  2. If you have a lower income, check with your farmers’ market about possible financial assistance.
  3. Ask questions. Who will know how to prepare and store the food better than the people who grew it? You may even walk away with an old family recipe!
  4. Arrive early for the best selection. Produce in high demand, such as sweet corn and berries, can go quickly.

600 Upstate Markets

Check out this website for a list of local farmers’ markets by county, with locations, links, days and hours.

Joy Auch

Joy Auch

Joy lives in Ontario County with her boys (two sons and her hubby). She runs to stay sane and spends lots of time with her boys splashing in their creek and catching frogs and snails. She is a New England native who promises not to share her sports allegiances, although as an alumna of Syracuse University, she loves (loves) SU sports! Joy is a regional communications manager at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.
Joy Auch

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One thought on “9 Tips to Navigate the Farmer’s Market

  1. Antonio says:

    I am guessing that by financial assistance at the farmers’ market you mean using SNAPS to buy tokens. Frequently there is a bonus coupon offered to make your grocery budget go further.

    I’d also like to add two other tips.

    While it’s true the best selection is to be had early in the morning the best deals come at the end of the day when vendors mark down what didn’t sell and won’t keep or they just don’t want to pack up and take back home. If you keep your list a bit flexible (fruit and greens not apples and spinach) you can buy whatever looks good and is the best price.

    Bring coolers/insulated bags year round: they protect meat and dairy from heat in the summer and protect herbs and tomatoes from cold in the winter.

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