We’ve all been to the farmers market, but here’s a list of important questions that you should ask the next time you’re shopping the market.
1. Where is your farm located?
Buying fresh local produce is the point of shopping at a farmers market, so make sure you know where they’re from. Typically, items are considered “local” if they are produced within 100-150 miles.
2. Can I visit your farm?
Farmers shouldn’t have anything to hide, so if a farmer hesitates or refuses to allow you to visit (without a good reason, of course), move on to another vendor.
3. What is this?
There are so many various types and varieties that you won’t find at the supermarket, so when you see an item that’s unfamiliar, ask about it!
4. Did you grow/raise this?
This is a simple, yes/no answer. If no, move on! Do not buy from the dishonest vendors who buy wholesale items and resell them as if they were their own
5. What kind of growing practices do you use?
Some vendors are certified USDA organic, but for most farmers, the certification process is too expensive. If they aren’t certified organic, ask about what types of fertilizers or pest management systems they use. For meat and dairy producers, be sure to ask about the feed the animals are given and the animals’ access to the outdoors.
6. How should I store this?
Don’t let your fresh produce go to waste. Farmers/vendors usually have great advice on how to ripen fruit, thaw meat, or how to wrap produce in the fridge.
7. What items are coming soon?
Don’t miss out on your favorites, so ask a farmer/vendor what to expect in the coming weeks.
With these seven simple questions, you’ll can buy with increased confidence and enjoy the produce even more!