Making the Most of Your Trip to the Farmer's Market

If these past few months have had you rummaging through produce bins at the local grocery stores like me, I'm sure you are more than ready to hit up your local Farmer's Market. However, before you run off, read my tips on How to Make the Most out of Your Trip to the Farmer's Market! 

When to Go?

If you go early you are likely to get the good stuff before it is all gone. Many farmers may only have a few pounds of ripe and juicy produce. In this case, it will be of benefit to arrive early to pick the best of the market's high-demand, seasonal fruits and vegetables. 

If you go late you have the possibility to buy your produce at a discounted rate. Most farmers or vendors don't want to haul all of their leftover products back home. Instead, if the market allows, many vendors will discount their products up to 20% off by the end of the day to get it avoid the hassle of loading it all back up. 

What to ask?

Not all Farmer's markets are the same. Just like many other things in life, the rules and regulations vary widely from market to market. Not all vendors are selling organic produce and the person that is selling might not even be the person who did the growing. Don't hesitate to ask questions. 

Helpful Questions from

  • Do you spray? If so, what do you spray?

  • What are your cows eating?

  • How much time do they spend on grass?

  • Is your farm ever open to the public?

  • Do you grow what you sell?

What to Bring?

Just like you would if you were going grocery shopping at a local store, bring your own reusable bags or baskets. Most vendors do not supply bags for their customers or the rules an regulations prohibit it in order to create a zero waste zone. 

Don't waste time waiting for change or miss out on a product because the vendor couldn't break your $50. Bring small bills in order to ensure a quick shopping experience and to provide your vendor with smaller bills to help other less prepared clients out. There are many vendors that offer credit and debit card processing, but by paying in bills you are keeping money in the farmer's pockets. Many of those card processing systems cost the farmer a percentage of their sale. So, stick with small bills and help your local vendor out. 

Columbia Farmers Market

601 Business Loop 70 W


jeff carr