Summer is here, and that means the return of one of my favorite things: farmer’s markets! Have you ever shopped at a farmer’s market? I like to visit them to find fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables, and other locally grown items that are in season. I’d love to grow my vegetables, but I’ve tried and tried to grow a nice garden and it just never works! Maybe someday I’ll have the time to put more effort into it… 

Some of my favorite things to buy at the farmer’s market are tomatoes, peppers, and apples. I’ve even found interesting items like freshly baked bread, nuts and jewelry! It’s also a nice way to meet local farmers and learn about the food they grow and the products they make. 

What are your favorite things to buy at a farmer’s market? What’s the most interesting item you’ve found? Let me know in the comment section below!  

Fun Farmer’s Market Facts 

  • The 2019 National Farmers Market Manager Survey estimated that 8,140 markets operated in the contiguous 48 states 
  • The largest number of markets operated from June through September, with the most markets (71%) operating in July 
  • Fruits and vegetables are the most common products sold at farmers markets, with 99.6% of markets selling them 
  • 21% of farmer’s markets operate year round 

Market Shopping Tips 

Shopping at your local farmer’s market isn’t just a regular trip to the grocery store, it’s often a hub for social activity in the community and can even be a tourist attraction. 

Here are a few tips from Taste of Home to keep in mind when you go to a farmer’s market. 

  • Bring a bag! Vendors don’t always have bags available, plus bringing your own bag is good for the environment and helps the farmers keep their costs down. 
  • Bring cash. Many vendors can accept cards, but they may appreciate cash instead, so they don’t have to pay the credit card fees. 
  • Plan ahead! Make a list so you don’t overbuy things you won’t use but be flexible—the items available at the market may change often, and you might find something you didn’t expect! 
  • Walk the market first to see what’s available and then circle back to make your purchases. This allows you to compare prices and adjust your list.  

Panel Members: Did you know you can include your farmer’s market purchases in your shopping trips? Choose “All Other Stores” if your market isn’t in the store list. If the product you buy has a barcode, just scan the code. If there isn’t a barcode, you can look it up on the Non-Barcoded Items list and choose the item (if you use NCP’s handheld scanner, refer to the Barcode Reference Booklet). Did you buy a fruit or vegetable that isn’t on the list? That’s fine, just choose “Other Fruit” or “Other Vegetables.”

Have a great weekend and check out a farmer’s market near you!

Best regards,