There’s nothing quite like a brisk morning at a Michigan farmers market among fellow locavores to start your weekend off right. Once you’ve found your local farmers market in our digital directory, follow these tips for a breezy and bountiful market experience.
1. Make a list.
Farmers market shopping in Michigan lends itself to kitchen creativity. Unlike a conventional grocery store, produce availability shifts throughout the season. Familiarize yourself with local fruit and vegetables by checking out a Michigan harvest chart, learning more about seasonal eating, or following your favorite farms on social media to see what they’re harvesting. However, there are some vendors who feature staples week to week like bread, egg, cheese, or canned goods.
Bonus: If you have little ones at home, involve them in the meal planning process and spark a love for local food by allowing them to find recipes, create a list, and make produce selections!
2. Look up payment details.
Some vendors accept cards but cash is often the preferred method of payment. For folks purchasing goods with food assistance, check out how your local market handles payment. There might be a designated exchange station or vendors may process some transactions on their own. Most markets list food assistance details on their website or social media site. If not, contact the farmers market manager and they’ll explain the process.
3. Arrive early.
If you’re looking to chat up vendors to learn about products, practices, or recipes be sure to arrive early! Early birds have the advantage of a wide selection, the freshest picks, and the opportunity to interact with vendors in a more peaceful environment, not to mention ample parking.
4. Bring a tote.
Vendors may supply bags but bringing your own is a sustainable (and fashionable!) way to reduce plastic bag usage. If you’re planning on buying bulk, make sure you bring a bag or cooler large enough to safely and efficiently transport your haul!
Need a new favorite tote? Check out our TLD branded tote.
5. Say thank you!
Local food systems depend on community support of veggie growers, bread bakers, cheesemongers, jam connoisseurs, and other specialized makers. Show your appreciation with feedback on how you used their products, who you shared them with, or by giving them a shout out on your social media!
Find your local market using TLD’s online database!
Emily Row is the Content Creator at Taste the Local Difference.
Find more great stories at www.localdifference.org/blog/