Farmers love, seriously love to answer questions!
No question is too small, silly, or vague. If you don’t know what something is, how to cook it, or what it tastes like, by all means ask!
If you’re a farmers’ market newbie or seasoned pro, here are the best questions to ask at the Farmers’ Market:
Buying fresh local produce is the point of shopping at a farmer’s market, so make sure you know where they’re from. Typically, items are considered “local” if they are produced within 100-150 miles.
Can I visit your farm?
Farmer’s shouldn’t have anything to hide, so if a farmer hesitates or refuses to allow you to visit (without a good reason, of course), move on to another vendor.
Did you grow/raise this?
This is a simple, yes/no answer. If no, move on! Do not buy from the dishonest vendors who buy wholesale items and resell them as if they were their own.
What kind of growing practices do you use?
Some vendors are certified USDA organic, but for most farmers, the certification process is too expensive. If they aren’t certified organic, ask about what types of fertilizers or pest management systems they use. For meat and dairy producers, be sure to ask about the feed the animals are given and the animals’ access to the outdoors.
What is this?
There are so many various types and varieties that you won’t find at the supermarket, so when you see an item that’s unfamiliar, ask about it!
How should I store this?
Don’t let your fresh produce go to waste. Farmers/vendors usually have great advice on how to ripen fruit, thaw meat or how to wrap produce in the fridge.
What items are coming soon?
Don’t miss out on your favorites, so ask a farmer/vendor what to expect in the coming weeks.
Please use these best questions to ask at the Farmer’s Market. If you need an extra nudge to work this into your weekend routine, checkout these 3 expert reasons you need to be shopping local. Don’t forget to grab your reusable grocery bag, take in the beauty of the richly-colorful produce, grab some samples of homemade cheese and use these questions to strike up a conversation with a farmer! Good luck!
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