Seven Things Not to Do at the Farmers Market

June 11, 2015 / editor

When it’s sunny out, the farmers market is the place to be. Luckily for residents of The Parker, there are plenty of amazing farmers markets in Alexandria! Unfortunately, that relaxing activity where you meander through the various stands, sampling delicious peaches and chatting with farmers could easily end up a hot, sweaty, escapade as you elbow your way through the crowd. Here are the seven things not to do at the farmers market, so you can avoid the latter scenario:

1) Don’t get there when everyone else does

Go to bed early on Friday night once in a while – the farmers market, like the movies, can be hit-or-miss. Sometimes, you get there a little late, the previews are still going, and there are plenty of extra middle-aisle seats. And sometimes, you get there late, and all of the tickets are sold out. You never know what kind of day it will be – so get there early regardless. That way, you’ll enjoy cooler morning weather, fewer people, and fresher (happier) farmers that are more likely to bargain and banter with you. Plus, the produce will obviously be fresher and not “picked through.”

2) Don’t wait to get bags there

This is one thing we’re almost constantly guilty of at the grocery store. You buy those reusable fabric bags (and feel great about it), then forget to bring them in every time you shop. Don’t make this mistake at the farmers market – not only is it beneficial for the planet, but you’ll also be able to hold more in some sturdy bags than in loads of small (rippable) plastic bags.

3) Don’t carry a large purse/wallet (and have cash)

Choose not to bring your large purse or wallet – you’ll be wrestling with it the entire time, and you run the risk of being pickpocketed if the crowds grow large. Go with a small cross body bag or small wallet with just the essentials. While we’re on the subject, fill that bag or wallet with cash – try to break those large bills into small bills so you don’t give vendors a headache at 7 in the morning when you hand them a $50 for $3 worth of asparagus.

4) Don’t come without a plan

We’re not saying you can’t enjoy the spontaneity of a farmers market. Half the fun is trying something new you’ve never had before – from maple cotton candy to rhubarb pie. However, you’ll cut down on your walking time and needless expenditures when you have a rough idea (better yet, a list) of things you want to stock up on. Then, wander around and enjoy the fun stuff.

5) Don’t forget what’s in season

This isn’t the grocery store, where apples and avocados seemingly grow all year round. As most farmers markets are local, many of the items for sale will come and go with the season (as they should!) This tip goes with #4 have a plan – when you have a plan, you will likely want to know what’s in season for fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only will you save money, but you’ll enjoy everything at the peak of season – and will likely be more inclined to try new things.

6) Don’t wear your Sunday best

You’ll probably get strawberry juice on it. And dirt. And crumbs. Don’t bother to dress to impress at the farmers market. Go with something that fits the season (a packable parka is great for impromptu showers) and wear comfortable shoes so you can go for miles.

7) Don’t bargain on the small stuff

This is one of the major pet peeves of most salespeople – hagglers that fight for that one dollar difference – over a $5 box of blueberries. Don’t fight over the small stuff; you’ll only bug the seller and will only end up with a few pennies of difference. Of course, we don’t discourage haggling in general – when you’re buying something in bulk, it’s expected that you’ll come up with something lower, and the farmer will probably happily meet you. Use good judgment, and you could save big on the best produce and home baked goods money can buy.

Follow these seven things not to do at the farmers market, and hopefully, you’ll enjoy more stress-free jaunts in produce paradise! If you’re looking for luxury apartments in Alexandria that are close to all the farmers markets your heart desires, look no further than The Parker!

Image Source: Pixabay

Tagged: Alexandria, local businesses, The Parker