Visiting the Farmers Market? Here’s How to Make Sure Your Day Goes Smoothly

Visiting the Farmers Market? Here’s How to Make Sure Your Day Goes Smoothly

If you're looking for fresh, local produce, there's no better place to find it than at the Farmers Market! You’ll get a wide variety of in-season produce, all grown by locals in your community. 

Shopping local - especially for food - has huge benefits to yourself and the earth. From preservatives, shipping, inspections, biosecurity risks and fuel usage, to the many, many hands our imported food passes through - suddenly grabbing a bag of carrots from Susan down the road never looked so appealing.

Let’s not forget that by shopping locally at the Farmers Market, you're supporting local small businesses. Speaking with your wallet helps keep our family farmers like Susan, in business.

To make the most out of your farmers market experience, follow these tips and you’ll be sure to get the yummiest food and have a great time to boot!

Still not convinced? Read about the perks of shopping at the Farmers Market before we get into those tips!

Just Plane Interesting

Fresh and Varied

One of the great things about Farmers Markets is that you can find a wide variety of fresh, local produce. This is especially convenient if you live in an area where there isn't always easy access to fresh, affordable produce.

At a Farmers Market, you're likely to find several different varieties of your required produce - including heirloom varieties that you can't find at the grocery store - all from different local farms.

This gives you the opportunity to try out different types of produce and find the ones that you like best.

Support Local Farmers

Another great reason to visit farmers markets is that they're a brilliant way to support local farmers. When you buy produce from a farmer's market, you're directly supporting the people who grew it.

This is important not only for financial reasons (local farmers need our business!), but also because it helps to build relationships between community members.

When you buy from local farmers, you get to know them and their families, and they get to know you. This personal connection is becoming increasingly rare in our society, and it's one of the things that makes Farmers Markets so special.

Get Fresh, Local Produce in Season

We’re not saying only buy NZ made or overseas produce and products are bad. More like, slow down and enjoy the seasonal aspect of real food. The treat of having to wait until summer for those special fruits - the surety that winter has arrived along with all the root veges we love to roast. 

Have you ever considered how those smooth, round oranges from the USA still look completely perfect after weeks on a ship and sitting in a shipping container? - yes weeks, months even. Maybe we don’t want to know - but those slightly ugly, mis-shapen oranges from Gizzy are starting to look mighty fine now aren’t they?

Fun (slightly gross) Fact!
Apples have a shelf life of 6-months, yep if you get the conditions right (exporters are great at this) - your apple will keep for a good 6 months. Next time you bite into that imported apple, consider the journey it took to get to your fruit bowl.

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with wanting an out of season product or something special that we can’t grow here - who doesn’t love a beautiful pineapple or the convenience of a delicious banana? It’s more about being mindful of where your food is coming from, and as they say - ‘doing everything in moderation.’

Ok Ok - Actually Sounds Awesome - Tips Please!

So glad you asked! While its completely fine to rock up and start sniffing out the best deals - we’ve put together a few handy hints to make sure you make the most out of your visit.

Early Bird Gets the Best … All the Things!

If you want the best selection of produce, it's best to arrive early in the day. The earlier you get there, the more likely you are to find everything on your list. This is especially true for popular items like strawberries or tomatoes.

Bring Back Cash

A lot of vendors have modernised and have a fancy Eftpos machine, or even a sign with bank account transfer details on it.

Don’t get caught out having to give your kid IOU’s because they’re the only people who get paid in cash! (Pocket money day isn’t the same unless it’s paid in cold hard cash).

Check out this brilliant Oma with her beautiful display of preserves - at this stall its cash only kids (or you don’t get your beetroot chutney). Yep - it's always a good idea to bring cash, just in case. That way, you won't be stuck without a way to pay for your purchase.

Get Social (not talking about social media for once)

Talk to the vendors, have a yarn, they are usually the farmer or farm workers. Often they’re a someone who is super passionate about their product, which they make by hand and are dying to tell you all about it. For Home-Made Gourmet - spreads chutneys, jams, dips, cheeses - they usually have some set-up for a taste test.

Making or growing it themselves means they know a lot about their product and can give you helpful tips on how to choose and prepare it. They also might take a liking to you and give you a cheeky discount, or they’ll at least let you know about any specials or deals that they’ve got going on.

Know What's in Season

One of the great things about buying produce from a farmers market is that you know it's fresh and in season. This means that it will be at its peak flavour and texture.

To get the most out of your experience, make sure to familiarise yourself with what produce is in season before you go to the market. This way, you'll know what to look for and what to expect in terms of quality and price.

Just Plane Interesting

BYOB - Bring Your Own Bags

More often than not, the vendors are prepared and will provide bags for their customers. If you’re lucky, every stall will provide re-used or paper bags, but that’s a pretty big if!

Bringing your own is always a good call - plus it’s one less decision you have to make when you're at the market! Now you can concentrate on planning how many apples you need for the pie all that gorgeous produce has inspired you to make!

Prep and Save the Weekend Brain Power

If weekend mornings aren’t your favourite time for organising (we don’t blame you!) why not put together a Farmers Market Grab Bag for your car boot (or front door)?

Put in a little bit of cash, hand sanitiser, masks, and finish off with some amazing Ladelle Produce Bags and To-Go Smoothie Straws from Strangers! Now all you need to do to get to the market bright and early is hop in the car or stroll out the door.

Farmers Markets are a great way to get fresh, local produce. You can find a wide variety of produce and products, get inspired to stay in for lunch or dinner and you might even discover things you didn’t know existed! 

They can help you get outside, feel good, reduce your impact on the earth and support local farmers. What’s not to love!

With these tips in mind, you're sure to have a great experience – and get some great produce – at your next visit to your local farmers market!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Check it out!

1 of 4