Farmers Market Shopping- First Attempt

I know that I have mentioned my favorite little farm stand more than once here on the blog. I can't help it, I just love the place so much. During the spring and summer months the temporary walls come down and the market becomes an open air haven for those who love fresh, local produce and goods at great prices. There are many recipe cards located next to the items showing ways to help showcase the flavor of the food in a dish. The market is now holding monthly cooking lessons for customers and children are welcome to participate. So since I love this place so much when I look around at the other offerings of my area I always have to compare it to this market.

The open air section of my favorite farm stand. 

The nursery part of the farm stand. 

The other day I went to a small local farmers market with an open mind hoping for the best. The light misting rain had kept most of the crowds at home which gave me the ability to take my time and really take in all the things around me. I met a wonderful woman who was selling meat and eggs raised on the farm she works for. The prices were a little steep but were a little less than the co-op down the road from me. I did not need eggs on this particular trip but next time I go there I will give her farm fresh eggs a try. I also noticed a tent that had the name of baker whose product is carried at my favorite farm store. I had a chance to talk to some of his staff and they gave me recommendations of breads and pastries to try based on some of my established favorites. Have you ever had a chocolate, cherry bavarian pretzel made just hours ago? If not I recommend trying to get your hands on one, it may change your whole world.

The farmers market. 

In the midst of all of these wonderful things there was one really big thing that was bugging me. Most of the local farms had a very sparse variety due to the early season. Peas, greens, lettuce, berries and root veggies were still abundant but the summer produce has not really begun to make its appearance, except for at one booth. This one booth was filled with tomatoes, cucumbers, greens, lettuce, corn, and more all claiming to be local. Behind the booth there were boxes from which the produce was unpacked with labels all intact. I felt a little blah about it. I went there looking for good wholesome, local foods and felt like I was being duped. After I thought about it a minute it may be better to just get what you need in one place from the same face week after week outside the walls of the grocery store, even if the food is not local. No harm no foul. I left that booth and went over to a table with this one man selling 2 pints of blueberries, 1 pint of strawberries, 6 pints of peas and greens. His sign told the name of his business and stated, "We grow everything we sell." He was more than willing to talk about the gardens he had and the how the summer crops were doing and he was within an hour from my town.

Sunflowers from the farmers market. 

I had such a great time meeting and talking to all of these people from the area. Since it was a relatively slow day the sellers were more than willing to spend a few minutes with me and it really gave me a sense of community. I learned a lot and even look forward to going again this week.

Does your farmers market sell only local goods or do they have large booths of people selling grocery store quality produce?

Shared on The Homestead Barn Hop


  1. At our Farmers' Market there are some vendors who go to a produce auction about 60 miles away to buy items for re-sale when their own isn't ready yet or to fill in gaps in their inventory. Most of the produce they buy was grown in high tunnels in order to get a jump on the season. Even though grocers often purchase produce at these auctions, the vegetables have not been shipped long distances and they are sold immediately after harvest. So they are not grocery store quality in the sense of having been artificially ripened or languishing in shipping containers for days before they are put out for sale.

    I would encourage you to talk to the vendor who is re-selling produce. It may be fresher and more "local" than you think.

  2. Good point and next time I go I will strike up a conversation with the vendor to learn more about where they get their produce from and just get to know them a little in general.


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