As you know by now, I’ve gotten very into visiting local farmers’ markets. Not just the large establishments, but the pop-ups all over the city. I have yet to determine a favorite, but I’ll let you know as soon as I recognize it.
Anyway, if you, like many of my friends and family members, have never visited a farmers’ market, I highly recommend it. You’ll find locally grown, organic vegetables. There may not be much variety, but you’ll probably find things that aren’t available at your local grocer. And you’ll be keeping local farms in business.
I’ve posted a list of pop-up farmers’ markets in the Atlanta area. Have fun. And here are “5 Tips for Your First Trip to the Farmers Market” courtesy of Georgia Organics.
(1) Get there early.
Check the farmers’ market website to see what time the market opens. Good farmers have very devoted fans, and may sell out of food.
(2) Ask questions.
Get to know your farmer and don’t hesitate to ask about his or her farming methods, tips for cooking, or chemicals they may or may not use.
(3) Look for certified organic or certified sustainable farmers.
Certification means the farmers use natural methods to avoid chemicals that could harm your health and the environment. Learn more about what organic means here, and why organic foods are better for you here.
(4) Bring your own reusable bags.
Most farmers’ markets don’t have grocery bags. Don’t forget the chilled bags for your meats.
(5) Check out what’s in season.
Consult with the Georgia Organics Harvest Calendar to see what’s in season, and then plan your menu accordingly. But don’t be afraid to try new things. Farmers are helping to keep heirloom varieties around, most of which aren’t sold at a typical grocery store anymore, so they may look weird at first glance. Don’t be scared of purple carrots!