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Tips for Buying Fresh Fruit

March 13, 2012

What fruit is in grown in England and available in March?

By Mary

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March 14, 20120 found this helpful

Not much, unfortunately! We're in the middle of the 'hungry gap' where the winter produce is reaching its end but the spring season hasn't really started. Rhubarb is available now though, and if you're lucky you can still find English apples.

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March 15, 20120 found this helpful

Hello Mary, here are a some home grown veg available at the moment here in the UK; leeks, purple sprouting broccoli, spring onions and of course, potatoes. I always look at the this site. Eat the Seasons. Hope this helps.

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June 13, 2006

This was posted as feedback to a post about Farmer's Market but we thought it was a great My Frugal Life entry. 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.

Selling vegetables at a farmers market.

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The farmer's market is a great place to find both produce and unique crafts. It is also a wonderful place to take children and let them try new veggies and fruit.

child with fresh carrots

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When you buy out of season, it costs you more money. When you buy in season and from your local food supplier, you are saving that money, you can buy more to freeze or can and you are helping your local economy.

Baskets of fruit and vegetables.

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Catherine Forman
May 26, 2006

A farmers market is a fun and different way to shop! Bring the whole family for a morning of fun.

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January 24, 2001

All the tasty, fresh, summer fruits and vegetables are available now at your local farmers' markets. I think it's a great idea for us to shop at these markets and support our local farmers.

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June 16, 2005

Visit a farmer's market this summer and buy some really fresh seasonal produce. Ask for tastes of anything you are unfamiliar with.

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Do you want the biggest berries, the reddest, the least seedy, the sweetest, the zingiest, or the ones with the firmest texture? Intended use also plays a role in berry selection. Do you want them for fresh eating, baking, or freezing?

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14 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I am just wondering how I can know if I am getting a good deal at my Farmer's Market? We only have one available near me from the first Saturday in May until the last Saturday in October. Saturdays from 9am-2pm.



Anyway, sometimes I find things that aren't in my local store and I wonder if they are a good deal or not. Like green beans today for $2/lb. I haven't seen any in my local stores for a long time. The farmer said originally that they were half price but I doubt that it was. I am just getting into canning and I don't want to end up spending more for canning stuff that I could get in the store - you know? But then again everything is going up in the stores as well... can you tell that I am confused?

Thank you so much for your help!

Nikkiev from Piqua, OH

Answers

June 26, 20080 found this helpful

About all you can do is actually compare prices. I doubt if it's possible to purchase green beans, for example, and home can them as cheaply as you can buy canned green beans in the grocery. The real advantage to farmer's market produce is the quality and freshness. In the urban area of Ohio where I live, the prices are typically higher than grocery store prices for similar fresh produce, but the quality is better. I don't know about rural areas, but for me the days of fresh farm produce "bargains" are a thing of the past.

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By AuntyC (Guest Post)
June 26, 20080 found this helpful

Nikkiev, $2 a pound for fresh green beans seems very high. If you are planning on canning beans...why? After you figure in the costs of jars, lids, a pressure canner, etc, PLUS the cost of the produce, you could afford the best canned vegetables in the store. Cost-wise and time-wise, it just isn't worth it. Now, TASTE as an occasional treat, I buy fresh and cook it for the table. There IS a difference in taste. But if you buy fresh and can it, what's the difference?

Most everyone who can do it so because they have a garden and this way they can "save" their over-production for the winter months. I just can't see where you'd be ahead canning purchased produce. You can get some darn good green beans in the can for under a $1 per pound and you don't have to slave over a hot stove. Sorry. But canning just doesn't make a lot of "cents" to me.

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By Mary (Guest Post)
June 26, 20080 found this helpful

Sometimes, the best value isn't about money. If you are getting produce that is locally grown, you are getting value. The product hasn't been trucked thousands of miles, it's fresh, you can talk to the farmer who grew it.... nothing in a grocery store will compare to something just picked!

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June 26, 20080 found this helpful

I've been selling every Saturday at a local market for the past 15 years (pottery) Here's what I've noticed in the way of food & food prices at Saturday Markets:

1) Most of the time the fruit & veggies will be nearly the same price at the Saturday Markets as the grocery stores, but what you get is FRESH picked veggies & fruit... The produce is usually picked on that morning or the day before & unlike at the grocery stores, it's not shipped in from South America or from the other side of the world or U.S. These local farmers have kept their land & not sold it for condos to be built on. The farmers they have driven to the Farmers Saturday Market from a place fairly close, so you are helping to conserve fuel because, again the food is not coming from across the US or from another country, it's grown locally so it only needs to be transported locally.

* Also, by buying locally, you are supporting your local & state economy, which is something you can feel really good about. These farmers & venders are working hard (usually with no health insurance) & not collecting food stamps or other help from the state. Sometimes they come home with enough money to easily make it through the week & sometimes not. Also, what you DON'T see is all the work hassle of the setting-up & breaking down their booth, then unloading the fruit in cold storage that evening. My fair is finished at 3:PM, but I'm not packed up & ready to go home until 7:PM (because my stuff is so fragile)

2) You can talk to the grower or one of their employees directly & ask them how they grew their product & if it's not organic, then what exactly did they use to keep the bugs off.

3) The apples & other veggies & fruit are not waxed, so you can much more easily wash off any germs or chemicals.

4) This produce is lovingly grown & picked... less chance of salmonella & e.coli.

5) You can buy a large box of fruit or veggies & get a discount, just ask.

6) At the end of the day you can buy bruised or "not as fresh" items at a discount because they won't last till the next fair.

7) The very best deal is with flowers because they were JUST picked (either early that morning or the night before) & they are SUPER fresh & will last usually a week longer than store-bought or florist-bought flowers, because the store-bought flowers usually have to be shipped from another country (several days) to a warehouse (where it can sit for several days) to the store or florist where it sits (several days) until someone buys it. So you can see why the flowers will usually last much longer when purchased at a Farmers Market.

8) With Bread, Cheeses, Nuts & canned or frozen Fish, etc: The prices will most likely be a bit higher priced than you may be used to in the grocery store because they will be of the highest quality & are usually organic. You are buying a product lovingly made in small batches, with each ingredient being the very best.

9) Most times these Venders & Farmers are open to bartering, so, for example, if you happen to be a woodworker, maybe you could trade your skills to make them stands for the market (or whatever) in trade for a certain amount of veggies throughout the summer, or if you make beautiful quilts, you could possibly barter a quilt for his wife for Christmas for his or (or her) produce or wares,,, & don't be offended if they turn you down. It never hurts to ask!

---> These venders hard working people, just trying to make ends meet, so don't try to ask for "deals" but no one ever minds if you ask: "Hey if I buy 3 or more cases of blueberries can I get 5 dollars off per case" or "Since it's the end of the day, do you have any bruised or 'not-great looking' fruit or veggies you'd like to sell"... My advice, buy in bulk whenever possible & remember even though you may not be getting the absolute best price around, you are certainly helping the environment & your local economy & you're getting the freshet produce you can buy (unless you grow it yourself) & we all know the difference between a vitamin rich home grown tomato doesn't compare to a store-bought one!

* If you want to know if a certain veggie is a "good deal" & you have a cell phone, then take the phone number of your local grocery store with you to the market & call them for a price check whenever you wonder if the deal is a good one or not... But always remember that if the prices are fairly close, obviously you should go for the freshest produce & that's usually something locally grown.

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June 26, 20080 found this helpful

Where I live - $2 per pound for green beans is a very good price.

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By tina (Guest Post)
June 27, 20080 found this helpful

Wow! The prices are ridiculous. Last summer at the farm market I go to in PA, you could buy a bushel of green beans for $14.00. Just think how many jars you can-can at that price. I buy all my produce at Mason's Farm in PA. I live in Ohio.

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What are some of the most fun things about a farmer's market? What draws you and your family there?

By Coreen Hart from Rupert, ID

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When is the best time of year to buy peaches and nectarines?

By Kathy

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Just last week we dropped by this roadside flower, fruit and veggie stand to get our fruit and veggies for the week and I spotted this lovely view.

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October 29, 2013

This is a page about buying foods in season. A great way to ensure you are getting fresh foods for your family is to shop seasonally for fruits and veggies.

A woman shopping for produce.

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