Tips for Visiting Farmers Markets
June is a perfect time to visit a farmers market with your family. Farmers markets provide an opportunity shop for fresh, locally grown produce as well as connect with your local community. The ONIE Project has a few tips to help your farmers market experience be the best it can be whether you have or have not visited a market before.
Farmers market hours are different than grocery stores
It may be surprising to learn that farmers markets are only open for a short time compared to grocery stores that may be open 24 hours. Farmers markets are mostly open from spring-fall on 1-2 days of the weeks for a few hours a day. It is important to check what months, days, and times your local market is open from. Before visiting Please visit OKGrown or the ONIE Project's Farmers’ Market page to check what times a market near you is open.
Farmers markets sell Oklahoma grown seasonal produce
It may be surprising to find that produce items that can be found at grocery stores all the time, such as oranges and lemons, can’t be found at farmers markets. This is because produce at farmers markets are grown in Oklahoma. Farmers can only grow crops that will grow in Oklahoma’s weather. Some produce that grow in Oklahoma may only be found at a farmers market during early parts of the season, such as asparagus in April, or later parts of the season, such as sweet potatoes in the fall. Click here to view a list of produce grown in Oklahoma and what months it can be found at your local market. Try visiting the market during different parts of the season to see all different kinds of Oklahoma grown produce!
Ask the vendors questions
Each vendor at the markets is their own business. This means that instead of taking items to the front of the market to check-out you will pay the vendor for their items directly. Vendors typically pick their produce the night before or the day of the market to make sure the fruits and vegetables are fresh. Vendors will help you pick out produce and can show you how to tell if the produce is ripe. They will also tell you how to prepare a fruit or vegetable you may not be familiar with and may even have a few recipes to give you!
We hope these tips will help you and your family have a wonderful time at the farmers market!
The ONIE Project