Farmers Market: Ya Dig It?

Visiting a farmers market is the perfect way to get to know your neighbors while having fun and finding great food. Before you go, check the farmers market’s website. Each of them is run a little differently. For instance, some might allow dogs, while others don’t. If you’re a newcomer to the farmers market scene, check out the following beginner’s hints.

When to Go

If you get there early, you’ll have your pick of prime produce and handcrafted treasures. Plus, the crowds will be thinner, and the vendors may have more time to chat with you about their products. On the other hand, if you go later, the vendors might start lowering their prices to off-load their merchandise before the day ends.

What to Bring

All vendors will accept cash. Some might accept cards, but don’t count on it. Bring plenty of small bills, especially if you go early in the day, since not all vendors will be able to give you change for a large bill. You should also bring some sturdy canvas bags to haul your finds home with you. Many farmers markets are plastic bag-free.

How to Shop

Resist the urge to buy the first thing you see. Instead, treat the market like a buffet table. Stroll through the market first to get a sense of what’s there, and then go back through and make your purchases.

One common misconception is that farmers markets are suitable for haggling. Remember that the vendors have put a great deal of effort into producing their wares. You can suggest a lower price, but don’t press the issue, especially if it’s earlier in the day.

If you’ll be in the Steamboat Springs, Colorado area from mid-June through mid-September, you should set aside some time to check out the Steamboat Farmers Market, which is put together every year by Mainstreet Steamboat Springs. The vendors offer a delicious assortment of locally raised meat, locally grown vegetables and fruits, and locally produced handcrafted goods like shawls, stained glass, and cowhide handbags. Call (970) 367-7060 for more information.