Keep in mind you can’t buy out of season items at the farmer’s market, but that’s for your own good. In season foods are more nutritious and down right taste better. Over the years some of my favorite farmer’s market purchases are the ones that are consistently bursting with flavor and super cheap. Plus no matter where you’re from, your local market will likely have these staples.
- Tomatoes – They really do have more flavor. After having perfectly ripe tomatoes, store bought ones just taste watery. And because they grow so abundantly they you get some serious bang for your buck in peak season. Buy up and can them or make marinara.
- Apples – They may not be as big as the roided up WalMart apples, but they come at a great price. I discovered that the U of M has an apple breeding program near me so there are varieties I’ve never even heard of before.
- Squash – There is a variety fitting for each season so you can always find some at your market. If they are being sold in bundles you can get a good price by asking for just one or two.
- Kale – I was turned on to kale after I first got it at a farmer’s market. I absolutely love it now who would have thought it’s so good for you.
- Honey – Locally made honey has been said to have build up an immunity to allergies. While this belief has been debunked, there are still many who swear by it.
- Eggs – While you can definitely tell the difference in the vibrancy of the yolk, what’s most important to me is being able to talk to the farmer. I like to know how the hens are kept (cage-free/free range) just for my own peace of mind.
- Cheese – Okay, so maybe I just like sampling all the varieties. But as with eggs, I like to be able to talk with the farmer about how the animals are raised. It tends to be richer as well.
- Blackberries – If I’m being picky here, I’d actually rather harvest them myself. Look for farms near you that offer this option. It’s fun and you can snack along the way.
- Spinach – The leaves are enormous compared to the store bought version and contrary to what you would think, I’ve noticed that it does not wilt as quickly.
- Baked good – This one might just be my bias from the Athens Farmer’s Market, but if you have local bakeries, I promise you they do it better than Schwebel’s. While it was much more expensive for me, that helped to limit me from eating it all at once.