Category Archives: Farmers Markets

A New Way To Shop

pastured raised eggs
Pasture-raised eggs are one of the best features of the farmers market.

I mentioned earlier that I spoke at a CHADD meeting recently. After the meeting, one of the ladies asked which local store I preferred for my grocery shopping. We actually shop at up to 5 different places for our groceries. She didn’t really like that concept because she hated having to go multiple places.

Continue reading A New Way To Shop

How To Shop A Farmers Market

How To Shop A Farmers Market

We love shopping the farmers markets. We started about 2 years ago and it has totally changed our food shopping. We generally start with the farmers markets when we shop. What we can’t get there, we get from the local grocery. Frequently, we decide what to cook for the week based on what we find at the markets. See this post for more on the benefits of farmers markets. Today I want to provide some pointers on how to shop a farmers market.

  1. Decide on the market you want to visit.
  2. Start early – before they run out of the good stuff!
  3. Grab some reusable shopping bags – Yes, they have bags, but I like to take my own. Saves the farmers money!
  4. Have an ice chest – depending on the weather and how far you travel.
  5. Takes some cash – Some vendors take plastic, but not all.
  6. Dress for the weather. Most markets are outside.
  7. Pace yourself! Your first time you could be overwhelmed with all the choices.
  8. Get to know the people on the other side of the table!
  9. Have Fun!

My favorite San Antonio market is the Pearl Farmers Market!

Why Farmers Markets?

Farmers Markets
Photo Courtesy ginnylgorman via Flickr

We’ve been shopping at farmers markets for going on two years. I’m not sure I remember our first visit. But I can tell you that it totally changed how we shop & eat. I’ll have more on that in a future post. For now I just want to talk about farmers markets in general.

Recently, a friend who has not been to a farmers market in years and years expressed concern about them. It was vague, but she wasn’t sure about the quality of the food there. I think that could be a common misconception. We’ve all been raised with food coming from a grocery store. So a farmers market seems a bit like the guy selling peaches on the side of the road. But in reality, the farmers markets are quite possibly safer than the food in the grocery.

Think about all of the recalls of foods recently: spinach, lettuce, ground beef, peanut butter. They are all large quantities which are contaminated. That’s because they combine so much food that one bit of contamination can affect large groups of people. And I cannot tell you how devastating the unavailability of spinach was for my cat! (Yes, he loves spinach and would accept no substitutes!)

Grayson Earl McNeely

Here are some of the reasons why shopping your local farmers markets are better than the grocery store:

  • Local – The food you buy has usually traveled under 150 miles to get to you. How far does your grocery store food travel?
  • Fresh – Your food is fresh. Really fresh. Often, it was harvested the day before. How long ago was your grocery store food harvested?
  • Community – You’re supporting the farmers and ranchers in your own area.
  • Taste – You’ll be amazed how much tastier your food is.
  • Safe – Your food is as safe, or safer, than grocery store food.
  • Family Farmers – You’ll be buying food from family farms and will actually meet & get to know the people who grow your food.
  • Fun – Farmers Markets have become an event in our house. You can buy your food for the week, buy breakfast, and listen to music.
  • Pasture-Raised Chickens – Chickens raised on their natural diet!
  • Pasture-Raised Eggs – Surprisingly thick shells – they don’t crack when you boil them!
  • Grass-Fed Beef – So much better and so much better for you! Read more about the Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef
  • Heritage Pork
  • It will change the way you eat & think of food!

My favorite San Antonio market is the Pearl Farmers Market!