Farmers Market Finds
Oh yeah... I see y'all looking at this picture. Is this not the most beautiful thing you have laid your eyes on!? I mean come on... the variety of colors AND fruit GALORE! I am hungry just looking at it. If you are one that loves produce, you like to save money, and you like to eat your food locally, this is the blog for you.
There are a few key things you want to look for when going to the Farmers Market-- we will go over the top three things that will lead you to have a successful trip and walk away with a spread like this!
Shop in season. Another words, you aren't going to want to get corn during the winter because there is going to be very little available, not to mention the quality won't be as good because it's not the season it thrives in when growing. Where as, limes or onion are good year round, and you should have no trouble getting a great bunch of those whether it's 30 degrees or 90 (who am I kidding when does it ever get that cold in Florida?!). From what I've observed from going to the Farmers Market year round it is pretty easy to figure out what they have more of each Winter or Summer but, here is a list of vegetables and produce and what seasons they grow best in/ when they are most available for a good price:
Look at each vendor before buying from one. This one is so incredibly important, and let me tell you why. You get everything considerably much cheaper at the Farmers Market then going to Publix and spending 3/$10 on Strawberries-- however, you can find it even more inexpensive if you make your rounds to a few different produce vendors and briefly look over their deals first. For example, at one stand they might be selling 3 cucumbers for a dollar, but at the other it might be 2 for a dollar. In reality, that might not make a huge difference to you, but if I am taking my time to browse over a large amount of food for my family to eat, and putting in the effort to make the trip, I might as well get the best deal I can.
Bring reusable bags (made of cotton or some type of fabric) or a cart. This is honestly a game changer and it will improve your experience ten fold. If you want the ultimate convenience-- go for the cart. It holds all you can imagine, like a watermelon... Okay, let me put this picture in your head-- the first thing you see on a summer day is a juicy watermelon, so you decide to buy it. However, you still have the rest of the market to look at for your produce and now your stuck carrying this 15 pound watermelon for your whole trip looking like an idiot. Oh yes, that indeed was me. So take that suggestion of a cart seriously. Bags work as long as they are made of a fabric material and they are pretty sturdy. Or if you don't plan to buy anything heavy it can be a more affordable, easier option. I promise you if you listen to anything in this post I would seriously invest in a good cart, I think they are maybe somewhere between 30-40 dollars, but it is definitely an appropriate purchase if you go to the market often and buy in bulk.
I would highly suggest taking a trip to your local farmers market, even if you aren't serious about buying anything. First, it is a great time to take trendy pictures, and to also really discover new grounds. Their is a whole community out there that goes every week and I personally go with good friends of mine and make it a great morning to get my healthy food and get good quality time in with them while roaming around.
Alright, in all seriousness-- shopping locally and knowing where your food on your plate is coming from is such a good feeling. This supports these farmers financially and is quite literally their life. This is their 9-5, they harvest and grow these vegetables and fruits and then come to these markets to sell them and make a living. Sooooo, why wouldn't you try it out?