Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected
May 04, 2008

How to Shop a Farmers’ Market

By Worker Bee
27 Comments

They’re good for the environment, they help pad farmers’ pockets, they increase fresh produce consumption and strengthen community bonds. Seriously, is there nothing a farmers’ market can’t do?

To follow up on all our recent chatter about the benefits of farmers’ markets, we found this helpful video about what you can expect from your local farmers’ market, the benefits of keeping it local and how to get the most out of your retail experience.

via YouTube via foodtv.ca

Some take-home messages:

1) Don’t be scared to ask questions – Farmers are generally happy to discuss their growing process and can also tell you first-hand which produce is the best (or even give you serving suggestions!)

2) Think farmers’ markets are just for vegetables? Think again! Many farmers’ markets are also home to vendors selling meats, cheese, eggs or other products.

3) Don’t write off your local farmers’ market in the winter months – even though growing conditions may be bleak, many farmers will bring in produce from more far-flung locales, allowing you access to the foods you want while still allowing them to earn a living.

4) Although it’s preferable to eat locally-grown produce, regional climates, seasonal changes and growing cycles can seriously limit your selections at certain times of the year. A better policy is to stock up when an item is in season, but be amenable to subsidizing your selections with out-of-season items.

5) Don’t get hung up on price. You may pay more for organic or local produce, but the freshness (sometimes picked that same day), value and the knowledge that your supporting your local farming industry (and decreasing your carbon footprint) should more than make up for the slightly higher cost.

If you’re interested in learning more about farmers’ markets in your area, visit this USDA web page.

Further Reading:

Community Supported Agriculture

Urban Gardening

10 Ways to “Eat Green”

Subscribe to Mark’s Daily Apple feeds

Sponsor note:
This post was brought to you by the Damage Control Master Formula, independently proven as the most comprehensive high-potency antioxidant multivitamin available anywhere. With the highest antioxidant per dollar value and a complete anti-aging, stress, and cognition profile, the Master Formula is truly the only multivitamin supplement you will ever need. Toss out the drawers full of dozens of different supplements with questionable potency and efficacy and experience the proven Damage Control difference!

Subscribe to the Newsletter

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

Leave a Reply

27 Comments on "How to Shop a Farmers’ Market"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Ron
Ron
8 years 4 months ago
I always shop at my local farmer’s market whenever I can, and am also fortunate to have a daily local produce stand I can walk to. You just can’t compare the freshness and flavor to supermarket produce. Where else will you have an egg vendor who also sells Balut(steamed fertilized duck eggs w/embryo)! I always found the prices only slightly more but competitive with the supermarkets. I haven’t seen any increases but expect to see them due to higher fuel prices and the fact most of the participating farms are about 2-4 hours from the SF Bay Area.
Sonagi
Sonagi
8 years 4 months ago
In my experience, local produce that’s sustainably grown but not certified organic is usually priced somewhere between supermarket conventional and organic. I pay $2.85 for a dozen real free range eggs, about $1 more than conventional but almost $1 less than Eggland’s Best. I am fortunate enough to have a farmer who sells year round although the winter selection of produce is limited to apples, squashes, potatoes, onions, and if the weather isn’t too nasty, kale from outside and spinach from an unheated greenhouse. I supplement with frozen vegetables rather than buy “fresh” stuff that’s been trucked in from elsewhere.… Read more »
Dana
8 years 4 months ago

This is great information! The tips are great and I shared them with my readers so they can have a good understanding of how to navigate through the market.

trackback

[…] how-to: Bailing Prosciutto therapy; Or, how to make one’s own apartment-style dry cured ham How to shop a farmers’ market Visualizing success Mistressing the […]

trackback

[…] into your local farmers market, most run on saturday mornings and will only hold the fresh seasonal produce so make it your go to […]

trackback
7 years 9 months ago

[…] grow much of your own produce, visit your local farmers’ markets for the foods that you can’t grow yourself and have even started participating in a food […]

trackback

[…] to my weekly newsletter. Thanks for visiting!You grow much of your own produce, visit your local farmers’ markets for the foods that you can’t grow yourself and have even started participating in a food […]

trackback

[…] local. Go to your co-op or farmers’ market and find out where the food originates. Talk to the farmers. Ask about their farming practices. […]

trackback

[…] How to Shop a Farmers’ Market […]

trackback

[…] How to Shop a Farmers’ Market […]

trackback

[…] grow much of your own produce, visit your local farmers’ markets for the foods that you can’t grow yourself and have even started participating in a food co-op, […]

trackback
6 years 2 months ago

[…] costs of giant grocery chains and their waste while supporting local agriculture). Check out this MDA post and video on how to shop a farmer’s […]

trackback

[…] that there are plenty of other purchasing options in all parts of the country. Local co-ops, farmers’ markets and CSAs are all great places to look for reasonably priced pastured and/or organic chicken. Go in […]

Sarah
Sarah
5 years 8 months ago

I am lucky enough to be able to shop at a Farmers Market only 5 minutes from me. The prices vary from about the same to slightly more expensive, but the produce is fresh, organic/biodynamic (all stall holders have to be at the one I go to), the producers are excited about their product/s, and I feel happier knowing my hard earned cash goes straight to the producers. And eating seasonally is the way to go! Thanks Mark for a great site!

trackback
[…] Farmer’s markets are abundant and offer enough meat and produce to keep the paleo eater happy and experimenting year-round. Farmer’s markets allow small local farmers to bring product directly to customers without a middleman which results often in lower prices. The fact that the produce is seasonal and local means the produce is riper when picked and has reduced transportation time, both of which result in higher micronutrient content (not to mention the lower impact of reduced transport, avoiding the major social/environmental costs of giant grocery chains and their waste while supporting local agriculture). Check out this MDA post… Read more »
trackback

[…] Mike will also eat sweet potatoes raw. Seriously, if you’re ever at the Saturday morning SM farmers’ market, look for the lanky dude with a sleeveless T and wild eyes hawking meat, fruit, and juice. If […]

Katia Saenz
Katia Saenz
5 years 4 months ago

I began to volunteer at a CSA 3 months ago, while I look for work. I love the fresh air and watching the veggies I help plant.. grow. The farmers and volunteers feel more like family. As a token of appreciation, the farmer has given me a 1/2 share for the year. It is only me and my hubby so I will need to quickly learn how to blanch/freeze an over abundance of veggies. Looking forward to trying new veggies, making Primal life an easier transition.

trackback

[…] about prices, then look at local farmer’s markets. There are plenty of posts out there on how to shop a farmer’s market. While farmer’s market food is going to be a lot fresher and better for you, the cost does […]

trackback

[…] faint and minor (for the time being)? Voting with your dollar by eating Primally. Shopping at farmers’ markets. Growing your own vegetables. Raising some chickens or perhaps even a goat, or giving your money to […]

trackback

[…] or we’re inundated with a countertop full of beautiful vegetation straight from the farmers’ market that we can’t hope to consume in time. You think convincing a ten year old to eat a plate of […]

trackback

[…] or we’re inundated with a countertop full of beautiful vegetation straight from the farmers’ market that we can’t hope to consume in time. You think convincing a ten year old to eat a plate of […]

Diane
Diane
3 years 11 months ago
Farmers markets can be very expensive, just like farm and organic shops. I don’t see this as a viable option for those on a budget, it’s unrealistic. Here in the UK, food prices have increased significantly in the last few years. Two organic chicken breasts from the supermarket cost nearly £7, and I’ve yet to find a farmers market that sells them for much cheaper. The best priced and best quality meat (as far as look and taste/smell) is from my local butcher, but I’ve yet to ask exactly how the animals that the meat comes from has been fed… Read more »
James
James
1 year 2 months ago

In many cases, the growers qualify as “organic” but do not wish to pay the cost of the inspections and certifications which would be an expense they would have to pass on to customers.

trackback

[…] really materializes. That stops in 2013. To help your chances, compile a list of all the local farmers markets. Figure out where they are, when they run, and which ones fit into your schedule. You won’t […]

trackback

[…] Craigslist. You might also try asking around at local poultry farms through Eat Wild [14] or at the farmers’ market [15]. Cost: $10-20 for two […]

trackback

[…] during the offseason. Find the best watermelon when they’re in season near you. Go to the farmer’s market and ask the watermelon guy to pick one out if you don’t know […]

wpDiscuz