Farmer’s markets are in full swing this time of year. One of my favorite weekend or evening activities is packing the kids up and driving to our favorite markets across the state of New Hampshire. We tend to be regulars at the Bedford, Concord, Wolfeboro, and Manchester markets, each one offers something I can’t get at the others. Today, I’ve shared a few of my favorite tips on how to get the most out of your market.
1) Know the growing seasons in your area and then create your shopping list. I create my family’s menu based on what is seasonal. If we want fresh fruit for breakfast, I know that in June I can get my hands on the best fresh strawberries, July is full of blueberries, August is for peaches and nothing beats fresh September apples! Also be sure to buy the seasonal items you love in bulk! I freeze a LOT of fruit so we can make muffins, smoothies, and other goodies year round.
2) Be green. And no I do not mean the color of your skin, but eco friendly. Be sure to pack a couple of your favorite reusable bags that are easy to carry around when full. Also purchasing products in glass containers? Ask the farmer’s if they do a jar or bottle deposit so you can recycle that glass! This also helps cut down their costs, they reuse the glass that is returned to them!
3) Don’t over plan. I find that I always find new items to try at my markets, so I always budget a little extra spending money for spontaneity. Like last week… I picked up a mushroom growing kit for my kids. Not only will I have mushrooms in a few weeks, I did a fun project with my kids. So glad I brought that extra $20 with me! Or that time I just HAD to pick up quail eggs because I found them to be absolutely adorable!
4) See something new at the market, but are unsure of how to use it? Ask the farmer who is selling it! I have gotten some of THE best recipe advice from the folks I purchase my produce from. I found these “Stone Cherries” at a French market in Montreal this summer… though my French is not so great…. I made sure to ask the non English speaking farmer how to use them. Boy am I glad I did! These little things are delicious!
5) Stay hydrated! I tend to walk a lot at our markets and am usually carrying heavy bags and a toddler. I find that I get quite thirsty while shopping. What better way to quench my thirst than a bottle of my favorite Pure Leaf Iced Tea!
What is great about Pure Leaf Iced Tea is that they are not filled with artificial ingredients. Made with real brewed tea, you can’t find a more refreshing beverage choice!
Want to see what farmers markets look like across the nation? Snap a photo at your local market and share it on Twitter or Instagram with #LoveofLeaves and your location tagged. Then visit http://www.Theloveofleaves.com to see your photo on the map. You might even get a special surprise!
Also be sure to check out Pure Leaf’s “Share the Love of Leaves” program!
Through the “Share the Love of Leaves” program, the brand made a $100,000 donation to Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit that focuses on making fresh, healthy, locally grown food affordable and accessible to all. With your support, we helped Pure Leaf make a difference in communities nationwide by bringing the total donation to $150,000. Together, we’ve helped to provide 100,000 pounds of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables for those in need.
(Disclaimer: I received monetary compensation for writing this blog post. However as always, all opinions are 100% my own.)