Our friends at Farm Fresh Rhode Island are excited to announce the opening of many farmers markets across the state this weekend! Shopping at the farmers market is the easiest way to eat local goods and support local farmers. I know that my family and I are looking forward to strolling over to Lippitt park on Saturday to shop and socialize.
As Farm Fresh says, “Sometimes you never know what to expect; ranging from weather or produce, eating locally can bring some surprises.” Hopefully these quick 7 tips can enhance your shopping experience.
7 Outdoor Farmers Market Shopping Tips
1. What’s in season. Knowing what is grown in your area beforehand is always helpful because you can plan meals accordingly. When in doubt, check out the harvest calendar for your area. If you live in little ol’ Rhody please click here to view the Harvest Calendar.
2. Pre-planning. Planning ahead helps determines what you are going buy and how much you are expecting to spend. Research the markets in your area and vendors. This helps when you are creating a list.
3. Weather. New England weather is unpredictable. Always have an umbrella handy – just in case.
4. Dress Code. The only tip is to dress comfortably. Remember most markets are in a park, so comfortable shoes are always a must. Be sure to add a reusable shopping bag, book bag or basket to your outfit. Most markets do not provide free shopping bags. But if you forget, some vendors will have bags for sale.
5. Bring more than one form of payment. In the past farmers markets were “cash only” establishments. Thanks to the advancement of technology, some vendors have a credit card processing system at their booth, such as Square and PayPal. Also, many markets have a central Welcome Table where you can purchase tokens (“Fresh Bucks” to spend on market food. Overall, cash is king! But if you forget cash, don’t panic. Find the Welcome/ Managers table, and a market staff person will assist you.
6. Be spontaneous!
Whether you have created a buffer to your budget or not. Try something new! Farmers markets are known always to have “one of a kind” produce or items. This is how shoppers find their next new love.
7. Small talk. Take the opportunity to talk to farmer or artisan. Learn more about where your food comes from, recipes and history. There’s nothing better then knowing the story about the items that have been created or harvested on the very day of purchase.
Outdoor Summer Markets
Outdoor markets are popping up across the state! Farm Fresh does not manage all markets in RI, but we do try to promote them as much as possible. Here is a list of markets that open in May. Happy shopping!
Armory Farmers Market
Aquidneck Growers Farmers Market
Burrillville Farmers Market
Coastal Growers Farmers Market
Fishersmen Memorial State Park Farmers Market
Greenville Farmers Market
Goddard State Park Farmers Market
Haines State Park Farmers Market
Hope Street Farmers Market
Mount Hope Farmers Market
Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market
Richmond Farmers Market
Scituate Farmers Market
South County – URI Farmers Market
Wakefield Marina Park
For more information please visit www.farmfresh.org