It’s that time of year to begin thinking about visiting your local farmers markets or farm stands to purchase fresh produce. Due to COVID19, markets are adopting best practices on how to keep shoppers and vendors safe. Your farmers markets and farm stands will have a different look and feel to them, but will still be offering the freshest produce in New Hampshire.
There are a variety of locally grown crops picked at the peak of quality and freshness. Farmers markets and farm stands give you an opportunity to meet the farmer who grew the crops and ask questions. View our Questions for Farmers resource to get you started on some questions you could ask.
Here are some tips to help get you prepared before leaving home:
- Check when the market is open. Look at the list of farmers markets across the state and check back periodically for new farmers markets that may be added to the list. You may also want to check out the list of farm stands across the state.
- Get up early so that you can arrive early for the best selection.
- At this time due to COVID19, we are not able to use plastic or cloth recyclable bags.
- A small cooler kept in your vehicle with ice is helpful to bring to keep any perishable purchases safe during hot weather.
- Make sure you have some cash available—small bills and quarters work best.
Believe it or not, shop without a list!
It’s fun to walk around and see what each vendor is selling first, then you can go back and purchase what appeals to you the most. Once you have made your purchases you can then plan your meals around those purchases.
Try new foods
Explore all the fruits and vegetables available and be brave! Try a small amount of something new. You might discover a new favorite. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how it is best prepared and served. Allow the kids to pick out something that appeals to them. It is a good way to introduce them to new foods too.
Go straight home from the market
Once you have made your purchases it is best to go straight home as your hot car is not the best place for fresh, perishable produce. Once home, make sure to store items like your greens in the produce section of your refrigerator. Remember that tomatoes, garlic and onions are stored at room temperature and keep your potatoes in the dark.
Planning your meals
Now that you have made your purchases it is time to think about how you will prepare and use them in recipes. We have several recipes and short videos available using fresh produce. Visit the site often for new recipes that will be added throughout the farmers market season.