Shop the Farmers Market for Fresh Finds

Shop the Farmers Market for Fresh Finds

What better way to take advantage of summer’s bounty than a visit to your local farmers market? This summer, do your grocery shopping outside. You’ll find a rainbow of fresh, nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Easy access to fresh, locally grown foods adds a variety of flavors to your menu, along with delicious nutrition that does a body good! Plus, many markets also sell organic foods that are grown without the use of pesticides. You don’t have to buy organic, though. When you get fruits and vegetables at the peak of the growing season, nothing is fresher or tastes better. Plus, foods that are in season usually cost less than out-of-season produce.

To make the most of your trip to the local farmers market, follow these tips:

  • Check the market’s schedule and hours ahead of time. Go early in the day when the selection is best.
  • Bring reusable bags to keep raw and cooked foods separate.
  • Take foods home right away. If you have a long drive home, keep a cooler in the car to transport the produce.
  • Ask the grower about the best way to store the produce and items you buy. They may even offer serving suggestions and recipes.
  • Branch out. Try a new fruit or vegetable you haven’t had before. Select colorful produce, it’s often the healthiest.
  • Buy fresh-cut produce, such as melon slices, only if it’s in a cooler or on ice to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
  • When you get home, rinse all fruits and vegetables with running water. This helps remove bacteria better than soaking.
  • Scrub tough-skinned produce like melons, potatoes and carrots with a vegetable brush.

Need help finding a local farmers market near you? Visit the United States Agriculture Department's website. leaving site icon

Sources: Top Reasons to Shop at a Farmers Market, leaving site icon U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2017; 10 Reasons to Support Farmers Market, leaving site icon Cultivating a Healthy Food System, 2021.

Originally published 5/23/2016; Revised 2021