April 14th, 2009 Jamie
I think it’s safe to say that a lot of what we eat in college is based on one of two things: ease of preparation, and cost. That probably explains why I subsisted mainly on Easy Mac and cereal my freshman year (though I did survive, I do not advocate this diet!!!).
Lucky for us the centuries-old tradition of Farmers Markets make healthy, yummy foods available just the way we like it: cheap.
Why Is Fresher Cheaper?!
As you may already know, a farmer’s market is a place where local growers and farmers gather to sell their fresh, delicious crops. There is no middle-man (like the grocery store, the shippers that get the produce to that store, etc.), which means you are only paying the farmer for growing the food, not all the other people who are involved in selling grocery store food (they pack, transport, unpack, display, etc.).
While you will have to buy whatever is in season (no imported watermelon in February) you will get fresher produce right from the source, and it will be much more delicious and affordable than what you find at a super market.
So, now that you’re excited about shopping there, here are some tips about how to get the best out of a farmer’s market:
- Know Where to Go. Don’t know how to find a farmer’s market? Some schools have them once a week right on campus, but if your school doesn’t offer one, you can still search the local community. Check with health food stores, your local co-op, the library, or the community section on craigslist.org!
- Bring Cash. Most farmers markets are cash-only, so leave your credit and debit cards at home.
- Ask for Samples. Farmer’s markets are full of new and different foods, so if you see something you might want to try, ask for a sample before you shell out your hard-earned cash.
- Befriend Vendors. If you plan on becoming a regular, be sure to get to know the farmers and sellers you buy from most. Friendly faces are more likely to get the top selection!
Feel free to share your thoughts & tips in the comments!
photo by woodsy
Entry Filed under: food & recipes