There’s something therapeutic about shopping outdoors. When I can’t make it to the Farmers Market every week I definitely miss it. Of course, I end up doing my grocery shopping elsewhere (mostly online through FRESH delivery services) but it definitely isn’t the same. There is just something therapeutic, intentional (and dare I say relaxing?) about tying your heart around the Farmers Market shopping experience. Maybe it’s just the sunshine, the fresh air, and a tiny bit of walking, it can be so therapeutic after a week of staring at a computer screen. And a great excuse to get out the house on Saturday mornings.
- Shopping fresh, local, and small is an easy way to achieve your sustainability goals. There are basically no shopping bags provided at my local Farmers Market. Do others provide them? Aside from receiving small plastic bags to keep loose fruit and veggies from straying, the Farmers Market experience is best navigated with your own shopping tote(s). This certainly cuts down on brining more plastic bags and food packaging into your home (which ultimately contributes to more waste and pollution). You can also buy things like beans, seeds, and nuts in bulk, which equals less waste and product packaging. This may also make it easier to shop organically. And you can’t beat the fact that by shopping a local Farmers Market, you are directly supporting local and (most likely) small businesses/farms in your community.
- Delayed gratification is key! Always walk through to the end before purchasing anything. There’s always a chance a better price, option, or variety is at the next booth over. I learned this lesson the hard way the first time I shopped the Market and bought a whole (3 cart) tray of strawberries for $10 (convinced by the seller of course that I would eat them all in one week) when what I really wanted was 1 tray of mixed berries. It turns out the booth next door had exactly what I wanted and at a cheaper price but now I had already committed to the pack of strawberries in my tote. It’s always a great idea (if possible) to walk through the whole market (especially if you aren’t familiar with the booths) when you first arrive, and then you can circle back around to buy.
- Avocado and sweet potato picking is tricky. I have no idea how to pick avocados. Well, correction, HAD no idea. Thanks to my IG friends I officially know how to pick em’. But the timing of ripping is still something I have yet to master. Also, has anyone else noticed how many types of Sweet Potatoes there really are? Some are white. Some are really Yams. But it’s all in the beauty of having great variety beyond what traditional grocery stores carry. And each time they may have something different. There lies the beauty of shopping seasonally.
- Community is still a REAL thing. As said above, there is nothing like supporting your community. And shopping in a Farmers Market environment really gives you a good sense of the food suppliers in your area and it’s a great way of forging relationships with them (and other shoppers). If you are on the path to more healthy living and eating, networking, and handpicking your produce this way is an excellent start. I often look around and the other shoppers and imagine why they are buying certain items and what they will make with them. Also, it’s a fun place to talk to others about new foods or recipes.