It’s the middle of summer, and your local farmer’s markets are brimming with produce and fun, local goods.  Wait, you haven’t been to one yet?  Well then.  Get thee to a Farmer’s Market!

Growing up on a farm exposed me to the joy of farmer’s markets and the importance of fresh local produce both to your local economy and your family’s diet.  Especially your family’s diet!  But don’t forget the others while at your local market!  It’s usually a busy place and sometimes highly competitiveness as these small local businesses try to help everyone at once.  The Kitchn has produced a comprehensive list of helpful hints and etiquette tips, and I’d like to highlight the ones I think are the most important below.

Dress for Success.  Successful Sun Protection.

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Farmer’s markets are super fun in the sun, so I always remember to wear – or at least try to remember – my personal favourite accessory, a big floppy hat.  If you’re not so much into hats as I am, make sure to schlop on the SPF 30 at least.  Or 60 if you cook like a lobster after half an hour of being in the sunshine.  I find that the sunscreen for babies works best.

Not only that, but remember that your Farmer’s market is outdoors.  Dress prepared for the weather to change.  A cute summery dress with a versatile cardigan is always a winner.

Make friends with your farmers

Head down to the farmer’s market early and just spend a bit of time walking around and getting to know what’s available.  Ask the vendors questions, they love what they do and that’s why they’re there!  But if they’re busy, don’t take up too much of their time.  That’s why you got there early.  Make sure that everyone else gets a turn to talk with the vendors.  Remember to thank them too for doing such an excellent job and if you are so inclined, remember to thank the animals for their bang-up effort.

Bring reusable bags

It’s important to remember to bring your reusable bags to the Farmer’s Market.  Most vendors know the hazard that plastics can have on the environment   I’m terrible for remembering to bring my bags.  Luckily, I usually use one of my reusable/easy care homemade t-shirt bags as a purse so I use that.  Do, however remember to remove your cat before you go to the farmer’s market.  Not all people like the kitties.

Bring Cash

I always forget this.  In a world where everything is charged on plastic, bring cash!  And if you’re a naturally heavy spender but are adhering to a budget, take only what you’re willing to spend with you, or take a small bag and stop buying once the bag is full.  This way you have to think critically about what you want to buy and get to spend more time at the market.  But don’t sweat the small stuff, the farmer’s market is there for you to have fun and get to know who provides you with your fruits, veggies and other treats.

Happy Marketing!

The Lady