The image of Eliza Doolittle getting schooled by Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady comes to mind as I peruse the Chicago Tribune’s 10 things not to say at the farmer’s market. (My fave is “how come these carrots have dirt on them?”)
Who knew shopping could be so stressful?
My short list of how to shop at farmers markets is:
- Brace yourself for higher prices than you may be used to. However if you shop at mainstream supermarkets, honestly the prices could be very similar. Build into the price that you know where the produce came from; it was just picked; and it likely has many more nutrients than the older produce.
If price is keeping you away, show up at the end of the market when you might be able to get produce cheaper. Many markets take “food stamps” cards too.
- Enjoy the market as if you took a trip. It’s a free way to connect to your community, good food, and the season.
- Ask questions. You’re meeting the growers, or people who work for the growers. This is your chance to learn about food and growing.