Like love and home renovation, getting ready for the farmers' market does not happen overnight.
We start in early March when we first start planting seeds in the greenhouse. Three months of watering, transplanting, seeding and weeding give us our first crops ready for market.
But even when the vegetables are picked, washed and packed, we're not quite there yet.
We have to bring all the items necessary to set up a temporary stall at the market. Tent canopy, tables, tablecloths, cashbox, scale, and bags all go onto the truck as well.
It's sort of like camping, but without the s'mores.
Here are 6 tips for shopping at your local farmers' market, from the other side of the table:
- Come up close to the tables and look everything over. There is no obligation on you to buy anything. (Even if we smile at you and say, "Hello".)
- If you have questions, ask them. Part of the reason farmers go to markets is to share their enthusiasm for their product with customers.
- Go early for the best selection, and to avoid the disappointment of sold out stock.
- Bring your spending money in small denominations.
- Most vendors will have bags for your purchases, but you may find it easier to bring a large bag, backpack or wheeled cart to hold all your goodies.
- Please don't bring your dog, though I'm sure he or she is adorable. In many jurisdictions, government food safety rules prohibit animals in markets.