#62 TRENDING IN Food 🔥

How to Make the Most of Your Summer Farmers Market Trip


August 13, 2023

Summer is an excellent time to get outside and experience new activities and a great way to do that is by going to a farmer's market! Farmer's markets are outdoor markets where local vendors sell fresh produce and snacks. I encourage you to take advantage of farmer's markets in your area and go to one instead of the grocery store. Although markets can be overwhelming, there are things you can do to make the most of your trip!

Photo by Christian Mackie/Unsplash

Shop Seasonally

Shopping seasonally entails only/mainly purchasing produce grown during that given season. By prioritizing seasonal produce when at a farmers market, you purchase the freshest and most nutritious produce. Shopping seasonally can also be more cost-effective (although you are most likely to pay top prices for market produce) because farmers have an abundance of freshly grown, seasonal produce.

Photo by Thomas Le/Unsplash

To help you shop seasonally, below is a list of in-season summer produce to add to your farmers market shopping list. Keep in mind that seasonal produce may be different depending on your location, so this list may not apply to everyone.

Berries: Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Tomatoes

Stone Fruit: Peaches, Nectarines, Plums, Cherries, Apricots

Melon: Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Watermelon

Squash: Zucchini and other summer squash

Vegetables: Corn, Fingerling Potatoes, Peas, Eggplant, Lettuce

Herbs: Rosemary, Mint, Basil

Photo by William Felker/Unsplash

Meal Plan Ahead of Time, While Still Leaving Room for Spontaneity

Meal Planning can help you use the produce you buy before it goes off, reducing food waste. By planning to make recipes that include seasonal produce, you can truly make the most of your farmers market purchases. You can easily make a Meal Plan by looking through cookbooks and online recipes and highlighting those that use summer produce (Refer to the above for a full list).

Then make a list and assign certain recipes to days throughout the week depending on complexity or time. Also keep in mind the lifespan of your produce, so prioritize using riper food first.

For some inspiration, refer to these Teen Magazine articles which feature perfect summer recipes to try!

Despite this, you never know what you may find at the market, so leave a day or two open on your meal plan to make room for spontaneous purchases. Alternatively, you can plan a meal after going to a farmers market. Just make sure your plan accurately reflects the amount of food you purchased.

If you need help getting started with meal planning, Canva has tons of templates that you can view and customize here.

Don't Expect to Pay Less

A common misconception about farmers markets is that they are a significantly cheaper alternative to buying produce from the grocery store. In reality, prices at a farmers market will be the same or maybe even higher than at a grocery store due to the quality of the produce. But don't let this point deter you from going to a farmers market, as the price point can be worth it for local, organic, fresh food.

Photo by Shelley Pauls/Unsplash

Bring Cash and Reusable Bags

Before going to market, make sure you're fully prepared! Firstly, I would recommend bringing some cash. Although most farmers markets take card, it can be helpful to bring some cash just in case.

This could also be spent on snacks, baked goods, or a meal at a food truck. I would suggest bringing anywhere from $10-20 depending on your plans. Secondly, reusable bags are a staple for farmers market season and are a good investment. I would suggest buying both produce bags and a shopping tote bag. Mesh produce bags are important, as they reduce bruising and keep your food fresh, while a large canvas shopping tote can carry all sorts of food, without being a pain to carry when full. A set of produce bags can cost anywhere from $5-15 and a shopping tote usually costs $20-30. Below is a list of links to reusable bags, to help you get ready for your first farmers market.

Mesh Reusable Produce Bags

Reusable Canvas Shopping Bags

Go Early

When going to a farmers market, arrive early to get the best and freshest food. You'll get there ahead of the crowds and get first pick. If you can't make it when it opens, still try to beat the afternoon rush and come 1-2 hours after opening.

Take a Lap Before Buying Anything

Take a lap around before buying anything to compare prices and get a sense of the goods being sold. This can help you get the best deal, as any given farmers' market will have different vendors selling the same products at different prices. Taking this time ensures that you can get the most of your time and money, and helps you get a sense of the foods and other goods being sold.

Photo by Ashley Winkler/Unsplash

Talk to The Vendors

A main difference between a grocery store and a farmers market is that the people who grew or made the food are present, so I encourage you to take advantage and talk with the farmer and vendors. Ask them about the food you're interested in buying, and they may even give you a sample!

Buy More Than Just Produce

Photo by Dave Takisaki on Unsplash

When shopping at a farmers market, don't limit yourself to just produce. Try some baked goods, jams, honey, oil, flowers, pottery, and art. I would highly suggest indulging in everything the market has to offer, as it may introduce you to new foods or local brands. Some markets also have local food trucks, which, in my opinion, are a must-try as you may discover new local gems, so come hungry!


If you regularly shop at farmers markets, then you should diversify and explore other markets in your area. Although a certain market may be closer, bigger, or cheaper, different markets may have different foods, better produce, or unique vendors. So try and pick a couple of farmers in your area and go to each of them before the end of the summer!


@sarbear1696 Summer vibes ☀️ #auroraillinois #farmersmarket #aurorafarmersmarket #summervibes #aesthetic #saturdaymornings ♬ original sound - Marta Courtenay

Going to a farmers market is a special, unique experience and is the perfect summer activity, so have fun and enjoy yourself!

Elle Glen
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Writer since Nov, 2022 · 7 published articles

Elle Glen is a high school journalist based in British Columbia, who is a reporter for the Griffins Nest newspaper. She has a dedicated love of reading which led to a love of writing. She spends most of her time reading, writing, being introverted, and listening to The Smiths. Elle is a curious individual who is fascinated by politics, trends, fashion and music.