All Green Things: Farmers’ Market Shopping Checklist

A Produce Shopping Guide for the Farmers MarketBy Kristin Sidorov
The wonderful season of farmers’ markets is upon us. Whether you’re a market novice or produce pro, here’s what you need to know to be a happy, savvy greenmarket shopper. A lot of it is instinct, or as Top Chef Jonathan Waxman put it, “I let the vegetables talk to me, not the other way around. They say ‘Pick me!'”

You’ll also need to come to the farmers’ market prepared. This doesn’t mean a lot of work on your part; it’s just a series of simple steps that will become second nature once you are a regular:
Bring cash, take your own bags, and survey the goods before committing to a purchase. Next steps:
Ask for a taste. Unlike the supermarket, farmers want you to try their goods.
Touch. Sometimes, fruit that looks ripe is still hard, and veggies that look perfect may have hidden mushy spots.
Stay cool. Keep small ice packs in your bag for meat, fish and dairy purchases. Alternatively, if you drive, keep a cooler in your car.
Above all else, get there early. Benjamin Franklin and the early bird are both right on this one. The later it gets, the less variety you’ll have to choose from (and some of the veggies may look worse for the wear on a hot day).

More great ways to make the most of your farmers’ market:
A Day at the Farmers’ Market – Tips, Tricks, Recipes and more (Splendid Table)
13 Lucky Farmers’ Market Tips (100 Mile Diet)
Get the Most from Your Farmers’ Market (Nourished Kitchen)
How to Appreciate Your Spring Fruits and Veggies (HuffPost Food)
Advice for Farmers’ Market Newbies (HuffPost Food)
A Guide to Spring Produce (Kitchen Daily)
Are Farmers’ Markets Cheaper Than Supermarkets? (The Kitchn)
Jonathan Waxman’s Essential Kitchen Tips and Tools (Tips on Healthy Living)

So you’ve got the goods. Now what? Try these fresh, seasonal recipes for your fabulous farmers’ market haul:
Asparagus Artichoke Salad (Simply Recipes)
Fava Bean and Radish Bruschetta (The Kitchn)
English Pea and Baby Leek Soup (The Chubette)
Artichoke, Asparagus, and Pea Sauté (Sauce and Sensibility)
Fava Beans with Corn and Walnuts (The Food Librarian)
Asparagus and Ramp Risotto (The Amateur Gourmet)
Chicken Baked with Fresh Rhubarb (Cooking Books)
Spring Greens with Creme Fraiche Vinaigrette (Not Without Salt)
Spring Frittata with Asparagus and Radishes (The Kitchn)
Risotto with Sweet Peas (Tips on Home and Style)
Artichokes with Lemon Garlic Dipping Sauce (A Food Centric Life)
Roasted Vanilla Rhubarb with Honey (Verses from my Kitchen)

How to make your amazing produce last longer:
Healthy Produce Tips (Martha Stewart)
Produce Storing 101 (The Ethicurean)
Produce Safety Tips (FoodSafety.gov)
Storing Strawberries (YumSugar)
Keeping Fruits and Veggies Fresh (Divine Caroline)

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The wonderful season of farmers’ markets is upon us. Whether you're a market novice or produce pro, here's what you need to know to be a happy, savvy greenmarket shopper. A lot of it is instinct, or as Top Chef Jonathan Waxman put it, "I let the vegetables talk to me, not the other way around. They say 'Pick me!'"

You'll also need to come to the farmers' market prepared. This doesn't mean a lot of work on your part; it's just a series of simple steps that will become second nature once you are a regular:
--Bring cash, take your own bags, and survey the goods before committing to a purchase. Next steps:
--Ask for a taste. Unlike the supermarket, farmers want you to try their goods.
--Touch. Sometimes, fruit that looks ripe is still hard, and veggies that look perfect may have hidden mushy spots.
--Stay cool. Keep small ice packs in your bag for meat, fish and dairy purchases. Alternatively, if you drive, keep a cooler in your car.
--Above all else, get there early. Benjamin Franklin and the early bird are both right on this one. The later it gets, the less variety you'll have to choose from (and some of the veggies may look worse for the wear on a hot day).

More great ways to make the most of your farmers' market:
--A Day at the Farmers' Market - Tips, Tricks, Recipes and more (Splendid Table)
--13 Lucky Farmers' Market Tips (100 Mile Diet)
--Get the Most from Your Farmers' Market (Nourished Kitchen)
--How to Appreciate Your Spring Fruits and Veggies (HuffPost Food)
--Advice for Farmers' Market Newbies (HuffPost Food)
--A Guide to Spring Produce (Kitchen Daily)
--Are Farmers' Markets Cheaper Than Supermarkets? (The Kitchn)
--Jonathan Waxman's Essential Kitchen Tips and Tools (Tips on Healthy Living)

So you've got the goods. Now what? Try these fresh, seasonal recipes for your fabulous farmers' market haul:
--Asparagus Artichoke Salad (Simply Recipes)
--Fava Bean and Radish Bruschetta (The Kitchn)
--English Pea and Baby Leek Soup (The Chubette)
--Artichoke, Asparagus, and Pea Sauté (Sauce and Sensibility)
--Fava Beans with Corn and Walnuts (The Food Librarian)
--Asparagus and Ramp Risotto (The Amateur Gourmet)
--Chicken Baked with Fresh Rhubarb (Cooking Books)
--Spring Greens with Creme Fraiche Vinaigrette (Not Without Salt)
--Spring Frittata with Asparagus and Radishes (The Kitchn)
--Risotto with Sweet Peas (Tips on Home and Style)
--Artichokes with Lemon Garlic Dipping Sauce (A Food Centric Life)
--Roasted Vanilla Rhubarb with Honey (Verses from my Kitchen)

How to make your amazing produce last longer:
--Healthy Produce Tips (Martha Stewart)
--Produce Storing 101 (The Ethicurean)
--Produce Safety Tips (FoodSafety.gov)
--Storing Strawberries (YumSugar)
--Keeping Fruits and Veggies Fresh (Divine Caroline)
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