Get the most out of your farmers’ market


Some locales enjoy year-round farmers’ markets, but even in those fortunate places, spring makes the market come alive. This flourish can lead to feeling overwhelmed by the copious amounts of fresh produce at the market, so Russ Parsons of the LA Times offers some good advice on how to get the most out of your visit. The first piece of advice (and the one I have the most difficulty heeding), is to “walk before you shop.” Although it is “easy to get carried away with the first pretty display you see…there will be more. And it will only be after you’ve walked the market from start to finish that you’ll know exactly what’s best that day.”

Another tip also involves patience, but of a different sort. Even though you might be sorely tempted to buy that first basket of berries to hit the market stall, Parsons advises us not to rush the season: “As cooks, we’re attracted to what’s new and novel. But remember that the first crops to come to market usually aren’t the best. They may be varieties that are grown just because they come on early, or they may be coming off marginal ground. Wait another week or two, when you’re buying at the peak of the season, and you’ll be a lot happier.”

There’s more sound advice, with tips on finding the best vendors and not letting your plans get in the way of choosing the best items. Take these tips with you on your next visit and you’ll get even more out of an already great resource.

Photo by David Karp courtesy of LA Times

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  • Lindsay  on  June 2, 2014

    Love the line, "remember you're buying produce, not socks." That and have patience are the two best takeaways from this article.

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