Farmers’s Markets 101: Etiquette

farmer carols cukes


Last post we discussed why you need to visit your local Farmers’ Market. I also told you where to find one in your area. So, now you are ready to go, but might feel a bit intimidated, especially if its your first time going. Never fear, Red is here! Today we’re going to discuss Farmers’ Market Etiquette.

Yes, folks, like most civilized places, Markets do have a certain etiquette that when followed, will make your shopping experience much more enjoyable.

I’m going to list some do’s and don’ts that I have learned by trial and error, so that you won’t have to look like the geek who’s never been to a Farmers’ Market {not that I ever did}.

Some Do’s For You

  • Do bring your own shopping bags. Lots of stands won’t have bags for the things you buy, so it makes life easier when you have your own. I’ve forgotten mine on more than one occasion, and I regretted it as I chased after a wandering toddler while holding onto some zucchini, squash and 3 pounds of ground beef all the while trying not to smoosh my carton of eggs. The bags can be plastic or reusable, but reusable is preferable {after all we’re trying to save the world here!}.
  • Do bring cold hard CASH. And in small bills, ones and fives are best. There are some stands that take credit cards, but cash is king. And small bills come in handy when there’s a long line behind you waiting for you to complete your purchase.
  • Do ask questions. It’s ok that you don’t know all the different kinds of honey and their subtle differences. That’s why they are selling the honey and you are not. Like I said in the last post, you can learn so much about the food you eat by just asking questions. And we all need to be asking more questions about the food we eat! So ask away. What’s the difference between these two kales? Why are those carrots so small? What the heck is that?? I’ll talk more about good questions to ask in my next post.
  • Do be friendly and say hi to folks behind stands even if you don’t want to buy their stuff. It will feel awkward at first because you know that they really want your business. And you know that they know that you’re just looking and saying hi to be friendly. BUT they also know that they win some and lose some, so just say hi and move on 🙂

Some Don’ts for You

  • Don’t cut in line. Even if your two-year-old REEAALLY has to go potty and the last carton of eggs will be sold if you don’t buy them NOW.
  • Don’t try to “teach” the farmer something. Chances are they know more than you do about XYZ. Afterall, they have poured blood, sweat and tears into growing/raising/making XYZ.
  • Don’t be a jerk. One time, I was walking by a bread stand that made delicious homemade bread and pastries and I heard a guy ask, “You got anything gluten-free?” in a not-s0-friendly tone. The sweet lady working the stand said, “No, sir. All of are breads have gluten.” And the guy kinda mockingly laughed, “Well, that’s no use!” Really? They sell bread, COME ON! Go take out your gluten frustrations elsewhere.
  • Don’t walk up to a local artisan and say, “I can make that.” And this comes from personal experience. I had a lady come up to me at one of my Christmas shows and tell me she could make the same sugar scrub I was selling. Good for her. Go knock yourself out making all the sugar scrub in the world. And by the way, why are you here, at my stand, holding my sugar scrub?

I know I’m being a bit sarcastic, but I do sincerely hope you will hear my heart behind it…Farmers’ Markets are awesome. I promise you will love shopping at them or your money back!

Keep enjoyin’ your Farmers’ Market Journey!

And ps…go grab some sugar and some olive oil from your kitchen. Mix them up and make your own sugar scrub…it’s very empowering!



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