One of our favorite activities while RVing is to check out farmers markets. These agricultural events provide a great opportunity to shop for fresh and locally grown fruits and vegetables, sample some great food, talk with the locals and enjoy live music all in one location.
You know where the food you purchase comes from. The growers are right there and you can ask them.
Farmers markets typically offer fruits and vegetables at the peak of the growing season, meaning the produce is at its freshest and tastes the best. Since they were grown locally, there is a good chance that the grapes or strawberries you buy from the farmer were picked in the past day or two.
Tasting fresh local produce at your RV destinations offers one of the better ways to become familiar with the places you visit during your RV travels.
Being populated by local farmers, vendors and artists, these markets are a boon to local economies. Most vendors need the support of the shopping public to survive.
Follow these tips for finding the best products at the next farmers market you visit.
• The optimum time to shop at a farmers’ market is early or late. Markets tend to be less crowded right when they open or just before they close, although there are some exceptions to this.
• The early-morning hours also offer the freshest produce and the best selection. The best goods go first. Popular-but-limited items may even sell out before the day is done.
• Late arrivals at the farmers’ market often receive the best deals. Farmers and other vendors often discount produce and other products rather than load them back up and ship home.
• Less-crowded times also provide greater opportunity to talk with the farmers and other vendors about what to buy.
• By shopping at the local farmers market, you can eat seasonally. Certain fruits and vegetables are tastier at different times of year. Local asparagus and strawberries come into their own in spring, carrots and beets are tastiest in the summer months, and apples and pears are best in the late summer and fall.
• Make the purchasing process easier on yourself and the farmers by coming prepared. Although vendors will make change, purchases will go easier and faster if you have exact, or close to exact, change. Of course, some vendors accommodate debit and credit cards, so keep that option open as well.
• Remember to bring your reusable, sturdy shopping bags, because many vendors don’t bring their own bags to give away.
• Vendors are knowledgeable about the products they sell. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how the food was grown, how to store something or how to prepare a new food you’d like to try. You’ll find that most vendors are more than happy to answer your questions.
• Shopping at local farmers markets is one way to give back to the communities you visit in your RV. Purchasing from local farmers allows them to continue providing the tasty, fresh products you love.