Farmer’s Market Tips: Shopping Strategies to Try

May 30, 2023 Lifestyle Tips 2 MIN

Farmer’s Market Tips: Shopping Strategies to Try

Shopping at a local farmer’s market is a delicious way to eat more seasonal produce and support local farmers. Summer is a great time to enjoy the farmer’s market because there are so many fruits and vegetables in season during the warmer months.

Here are some tips for shopping your local farmer’s market so you can save time, money, and get the most out of your trip.

Go Early (or Late)

When is a good time to visit the farmer’s market? Consider starting your shopping trip either right when it opens or right before the market closes. The farmer’s market will likely be less crowded during these times.

But there are pros and cons to both of these approaches. If you visit early, there will be a greater selection and popular items will still be in stock. But if you visit late, you might be able to get hefty discounts on items if vendors are trying to get rid of unwanted stock.

The best time to visit may depend on your individual market and when others are shopping. Visiting at a few different times can help you figure out what works best for your local market.

Know What’s in Season

One of the benefits of shopping at a farmer’s market is getting the freshest seasonal produce available. But do you know what’s in season during a specific time of the year? The USDA maintains a list of seasonal fruits and vegetables, but what is available may vary slightly based on where you live. Try to choose a few fruits and vegetables that are currently in season during each trip.

Talk to the Farmer

You might be surprised that not all food found at farmer’s markets is locally grown or organic. If these aspects are important to you when shopping for produce, get to know your farmer and ask questions.

The farmer has a deep understanding of how the fruit or vegetable was grown and the type of pesticides or fertilizers that were used. Many farmers use organic growing methods, but do not want to go through the process of having their produce “certified organic”. When you go to the source, they can answer all the questions you might have.

Additionally, the farmer can help provide ideas for how to best prepare or serve the items, so you can enjoy them fully once you bring them home.

What to Purchase

Many farmer’s markets have a variety of items beyond fruits and vegetables, including bread, meat, or desserts. When you visit the farmer’s market, your first goal should be to stock up on fruits and vegetables, as they are the most nutrient-rich foods available at the market.

A good way to not get too swayed by all of the delicious offerings is to plan your meals before visiting. Have an idea of what might be available at the market and a rough plan of the recipes you want to make for the week. A shopping list and meal plan can help you stay on track with your purchases and not overbuy.

Final Farmer’s Market Shopping Tips

A few final tips to get the most out of your experience:

  • Bring cash, especially small bills as many markets don’t accept credit cards.
  • Bring your own reusable bags or a wheeled cart if you are purchasing a lot.
  • Don’t be afraid to try unfamiliar fruits or vegetables.
  • Before you start buying, take a lap to understand everything that is available.

With these tips, you can be sure you will enjoy your experience and come home with plenty of delicious fruits and vegetables to try.

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Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD

NatureMade Contributor

Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD has over a decade of experience as a registered dietitian and freelance writer. She has a passion for creating incredible health and nutrition content. She is the author of three books, as well as dozens of articles on food and wellness. Find her at

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Kalyn Williams, RDN

Science and Health Educator

Kalyn is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and a Science & Health Educator with the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. Her experience in the field of nutrition prior to joining Pharmavite has included community and public health education, media dietetics, and clinical practice in the areas of disordered eating, diabetes, women’s health, and general wellness. Kalyn received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona, and completed her dietetic supervised practice in Maricopa County, AZ, with an emphasis on public health. Kalyn is certified in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, where she is an active member in addition to memberships in Dietitians in Functional Medicine, Women’s Health Dietitians, and the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians.

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