Farmers Market Roundup!: Shopping On A Budget

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jun 30, 2008 2:30PM

Question: You're at your local farmers market with $25 in your pocket. You want to buy a load of fresh herbs and vegetables and, maybe, something to nibble while walking around. What do you do?

This is where developing a relationship with your vendors comes into play. The prices vendors assign to their offerings are quite loose. If you're a regular customer, taking the time to develop a working relationship with your preferred vendors can be the difference between having some pocket change as you leave and heading for the ATM. These farms are more willing to give frequent customers discounts than one-time or sporadic visitors to market.

Another thing you can do is to show up later in the day. As the markets wind down, some vendors will slash the prices on their produce in an effort to move it. We tend to show up at Green City on Saturdays in time for the cooking demonstrations, then visit the vendors whose produce we like, such as Mick Klug for purple asparagus and Smits Farms for fresh herbs and planters.

This is how all the local chefs do it. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for you.