Farmers Markets - How to get the most out of your Money
Farmers Markets. There is a common misconception that farmers markets are expensive to visit. But that is not the case, unless you are tempted by the treats some of the vendors have concocted. Case in point. Vegetables and herbs are very reasonable, but pastries, bread, crafts, and wines, not so much. It all boils down to economics. Depending on the traffic, the high end items are usually priced about the same as in the big supermarkets. When you factor in that one or two people spent time making those delicious treats in low volume, while the big guys make huge volumes, there is a cost to time and it equals out.
Produce is the best deal out there
I went to a local farmers market this past weekend and bought enough produce for a large hodge-podge dish. More on that later. What surprised me was the actual cost, and the freshness. The 5 pounds of purple and white baby potatoes, 2 pounds of carrots, 2 pounds of yellow and green beans, onions and garlic was around $20.00. A little less than what I would have spent at the grocery store, and these were fresh. Picked the day before, crisp, sweet and colorful.
Pastries are expensive, but worth it
On the other hand, on the way out with my bounty, we passed a baked good booth. The smells, the perfect turnovers, pretzels, and other gooey treats were to enticing. Our cost at this booth was $25.00. For what we purchased it was double what I would pay in the store, but in my mind, worth it. FRESH, packed full of flavor, and no preservatives. I guess if your going to have a treat, it had better be a good one. Not mass produced, and not packaged in plastic with a best before date. These were out of the oven in the morning, and consumed by evening. We didn't have to worry about a best before date, they are gone hours after purchase.
Bottom Line for a Farmers Market
Buying local is good for you, and your community. The growers, and bakers are your neighbors and supporting them helps the economy. The food is the freshest you will ever find, this is why so many chefs love a farmers market. Become a regular, get to know your market vendors, and not only will they always be happy to see you, your getting the best food out there. So search your community papers, bulletin boards, or ask around. A Farmers Market is perfect place to reconnect with your community, and save some money. Just go easy on the baked goods and treats.