We support the efforts of our local growers and encourage everyone to shop at farmer's and open air markets this summer. You'll get a wide variety of fresh produce and, as many vendors farm organically, your food will be a healthy alternative to the chemically treated food regularly offered at commercial grocery stores. Experiment and don't be afraid to try something new. You might discover a new favorite fruit, vegetable, bread, or cheese that will make your summer even richer and sweeter.
- Dress for Comfort: Most farmers' markets are out of doors and are open rain or shine. Wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. If you bring along your kids, make sure you have supplies, a stroller, and drinks for them. Try to involve them in the shopping process so that they gain an interest in fresh produce and meal preparation.
- Brouse: Stroll through the market and make note of what the vendors have to offer before you buy.
- Ask Questions: Don't miss the opportunity to learn about new or exotic produce. Vendors and farmers like to share their knowledge and can even give you recipes and cooking tips.
- Bring Cash: It is the easiest way to make your purchases. Try to avoid bringing large bills unless you are going to spend the amount.
- Bring your Own Shopping Bags and Containers: It's easiest if you bring your own reusable bags with handles. And, if you can, be mindful of the environment and bring cloth or canvas bags. It may also be helpful to bring a cooler or two with ice packs to keep the produce fresh in hot weather – especially if you are not going straight home.
- Go Early or Late: You'll find the best selection if you show up early and there's nothing better than strolling through a fragrant and colorful farmer's market early on a summer morning. If you go late, just before closing time, you'll find some of the best deals, because vendors don't want to take anything home. If you go late, just remember you risk finding a limited selection.
For a directory of Ohio farmer's markets, visit the link below to Ohio Proud. The directory provides a listing of markets throughout the state organized by county. Each entry contains the market name, contact person, address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and a brief list of products offered. The directory is published by the Ohio Department of Agricultures Division of Markets to serve as a guide in purchasing Ohio products. If you are interested in being listed in a future directory, please contact the Division of Markets at 1-800-IM-PROUD (1-800-467-7683). Reference: Home Economist Linda Larsen