Maximize Your Time at the Market
Last week I wrote a post asking you to leave a comment with locavore questions you wanted answered. The only comment I received was from mega blogger and efficiency king Michael Hyatt (who also happens to be my dad- thanks Dad!). So without further ado, I will answer his question.
How can I maximize my time at a Farmers Market? Where should I go first, second, third, etc.
When you walk into a farmers market, it can seem intimidating. Where should I go first? This is often the first question people ask themselves internally. Of course this will vary depending on your shopping list, budget and time – but for an overall guide this is what I suggest.
Seasonal fruits and new produce will go first. Berries, apples, peaches, cherries and the first of the season’s corn, tomatoes etc will be the first items to “sell out” at the Market. Shop the market early to get those items, and make those the 1st stop.
Tip: Many of the popular vendors will have long lines. This is where bringing a friend helps. One of you can stand in line, while the other keeps on shopping.
Specialty items tend to sell out fast too. Every market has a couple vendors who’s products are so hot they fly off the table. At my market I know to get the fresh pressed juice first because they usually sell out in an hour if you didn’t pre-order.
Tip: If you want a guarantee that your favorite thing will be there, contact the vendor and ask if you can pre-order ahead of time and pick up and the Market.
Dairy is another item that I will hit up towards the end. Most cheese, milk and egg vendors will have enough product to last the whole market. Plus you don’t want cold items sitting in your market bags for long.
Tip: Bring a cooler bag to put your frozen meats and fresh dairy items in to make sure they stay cold until you get home.
Baked goods, honey, flowers, jams and body products are always the last on my list. They bring the same supply every week (give or take) and tend to always have enough. I’ve never seen someone who sells soap or honey run out.
And, don’t forget to stop along the way and pick up a few treats that will enhance your farmers market experience. Grab a lemonade or fresh coffee for your stroll. As you learn your neighborhood market, you will get to know what items go first and each time will get better at managing your time and money.