Friday, June 15, 2012
Navigating the farmers market
A few weekends ago, Heather from HMN Photography and I headed over to the local farmers market to try out a different kind of photoshoot. We have both become slight Instagram junkies and wanted to find a way to share the app in a fun setting that replaced her usual professional camera with that little handheld phone we carry every day. Since it's prime time for outdoor mornings, fresh food, and blooming flowers, I wanted to highlight the keys to navigating any local farmers market so anyone can leave with an abundance of goods.
Walking through the stalls can be so overwhelming and more than a few times I've left with one bag of veggies and lunch to go...nothing I can use for the week or dinner later that night. To take advantage of each vendor's harvest, I've devised a few key tricks to navigating the farmers market:
1. Come prepared with a large enough straw tote (like this classic option) and an arsenal of recipes you are planning on making within a few days (Fast, Fresh, and Green is a great recipe book for ideas).
2. Just like the grocery store, compare prices. The first vendor with tomatoes might look tempting, but it's the stalls tucked in the middle or near the outskirts that have the best prices.
3. If you are trying something new, only splurge on one thing and pay attention to the expiration date. Something like squash blossoms only last a day, so buy other foods that can be used to complement the flavor for dinner that night.
4. Breads and sweets can be tempting, but most likely you aren't buying them during normal shopping trips. Get one good loaf of bread for the week, then one sweet treat to snack on while you're finishing up your shopping.
5. Lastly, it's ok to look but not buy. I used to feel bad talking to the vendor then not buying anything, but you want the best product, so if you don't see it feel free to move onto the next stall.
Does anyone else have any good farmers market tips? I'd love to hear how you blend a day at the market into your normal grocery shopping.
...and don't forget to enter my Junghwa by Amy Stewart giveaway! The winner will get two beautiful pieces of jewelry from the talented designer. It's open to international entries too!