Farmer's market season has kicked off in many communities for the season. We have a few tips for keeping your foods safe and at good quality.
- Set your alarm. Getting to the market early means you will likely get the amount and quality of produce you want.
- Take reusable bags and containers. Not only is this benefiting the environment, some vendors may not supply bags.
- Bring cash and small bills. Markets are not known for having credit card readers, so stop by the bank for small bills in cash.
- Pack a cooler or perishable goods. If your market sells meat, a cooler helps keep your purchase food-safe.
- Wear sun protection, especially if your market is open between the hours of 10am and 2pm when the sun is at its strongest.
- Walk through the market before buying. This gives you a chance to compare prices, quality of food, and know what is available.
- Ask questions! Get to know your farmer with questions about what and where they grow and their favorite way to eat a food.
- Buy "ugly." Oddly shaped fruits and veggies are just as nutritious as their "perfect" shaped counterparts. Buying "ugly" helps reduce food waste, and might be sold cheaper in some cases.
- Refrigerate perishable foods. The raw meats and eggs and other perishables you bought should go into refrigerator or freezer storage as soon as possible.
- Move fruits, veggies, and herbs to a storage method that will lengthen their shelf life and maintain quality. For example, tomatoes should be stored at room temperature. Refrigerating them creates a mealy texture.
- Enjoy it soon! Produce is picked at peak ripeness, so farmer's market produce often starts to spoil sooner than foods from your grocery store.
Join our free Get Fresh program this season to explore local foods, get new recipe ideas, learn about preserving foods at home, and more!