How to find and shop at your local farmers market

Your local farmers market is a great place to stock up on local fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, breads and so much more. Many markets are just beginning to pick up steam as summer produce begins to pop. Whether you already have a favorite market or are looking for one near you there are some great resources available.

The USDA has a robust database of farmers markets, searchable by zip code and product availability. Search for a local farmers market now.

Once you find a farmer’s market nearby, make the most out of it by integrating it into your weekly Gatheredtable menu planning routine.

  1. First, find out what day your farmer’s market is and decide when you’ll do your shopping.
  2. Edit your menu to include your seasonal favorites. Your Gatheredtable menu is filled with seasonal produce and you can also edit it to add any additional seasonal recipes you’re craving that week.
  3. Review your grocery list. Check your fridge and pantry before setting off for the farmers market, and check that you have all the staples you’ll need for the week. Many farmer’s markets have vendors selling much more than just fruits and vegetables, including pastas and grains, meats, cheeses, honey and much more.
  4. Finish up your shopping at the store (if needed). I love supporting local farms and try to buy as much as I can at the farmers market. Once I peruse the market and make sure I’ve got everything on my list, I swing by the store to get anything else I need that wasn’t already in my pantry or available at the market.

I’ll always consider the best part about shopping at a farmers market to be knowing where my food is coming from but the second best part is that it’s almost always less expensive (on average) than the grocery store, especially for organic produce! This is particularly true at smaller neighborhood markets. In my experience, the big, busy, well publicized markets tend to have prices closer to the grocery store, so I stick to the smaller market in my neighborhood. Farmers may also give a discount for bulk purchases for peak season items so if you’re experimenting with freezing, or canning, it’s definitely worth asking.

Happy shopping!

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