A farmers market is a fun and different way to shop! Bring the whole family for a morning of fun.
Finding a farmers market in your area may be as easy as checking the local newspaper. Otherwise, keep your eyes open while you're driving around town. You may spot a sign for an upcoming or weekly farmers market in your travels. If you have no luck with the paper or on the road, ask around! Somebody may know of a great local farmers market for you to discover!
Most farmers markets aren't just for farmers anymore. A lot of markets are open to all sorts of crafters. You'll find fresh fruits and fresh vegetables, jams and jellies, home baked breads and pies, hand made candy, flowers and plats, and even art, pottery, and other crafts.
Keep in mind that this isn't necessarily like a flea market - the prices may be a little higher because everything is fresh and hand made. I've bought amazingly soft hand-spun and hand-dyed yarn at farmers markets; the finished product was totally worth the price.
Some other tips for enjoying the farmers market:
When my children were young (around 8-10 years old) I would give them each a few dollars and let them go shopping for their own goodies at the Farmers market.
We usually set a few ground rules like they had to get at least enough of one item to share with every one else, and they had to ask questions when they made their purchases to find out something new about whatever they were buying, like suggestions for ways to prepare it or the best way to tell if it is ripe, how long will it keep in the fridge etc.
They enjoyed learning about the foods they eat, it made them feel important to share the things they had learned with their siblings, they seemed to be more willing to try new things if they got to make the decision about what it would be by themself. They usually got at least a few items that they could stash in one of the crisper drawers in a bag with their name on it for their own personal snacking.But also they got to where they got a big kick out of planning surprise dishes to try out on their Dad and Me!
They learned quickly that if they pooled the money they could sometimes get better deals and before too long decided that it was more fun to get a whole bushel of something and put things up in the freezer to keep longer. They enjoyed reminicing in January about the strawberries we were eating, that baby sis had bargained for with her winsom ways from a usually gruff farmer that she made friends with!
My "babies" are 25, 26, 28 & 30 now but they still talk about how they learned the best way to pick out corn on the cob or which melon is going to be the sweetest. We often had a garden in the yard when they were growing up but never had enough room to grow everything we wanted to, so they learned just how useful the Farmers Markets always are.
Each of their sugnificant others has mentioned to me at one time or other that they are so impressed with my kids knowledge of cooking, gardening, bargain shopping or the like. I always have to say they didn't learn it from me, I just tried to teach them how to go about finding the answers for their questions, even when sometimes they didn't know they had a question! I'm a strong believer in the notion that every experience in life is a learning opportunity and I always try to get the most out of every opportunity that I possibly can. If my kids learned that then I feel they learned a lot!
I would love to have a really nice farmer's market in my town; however it is small and the prices are so expensive plus it seems like there's more crafty type stuff for sale than produce :-(
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