The arrival spring means that the Newburyport Farmer’s Market will start operating every week outside! I’m pretty lucky that the market does run a bit during the winter, but I am so excited that starting May 2nd I can go every weekend. The farmers’ market is different every week — different vendors, different offerings — so its important to learn how to navigate the market before you make your purchases!
1) Always do a loop when you first arrive
The same vendors don’t come to the market every week, so every time you visit there are different offerings. And based on production and supply, some vendors may not offer the same products each week! Its important to do a lap around the market to see whats being sold. You may see that multiple vendors offer the same products too, so you’ll want check out who has the freshest fruits and veggies for sale that day.
2) Make notes of what you need
As noted in #1 above, I don’t know what will be for sale at the market, but I usually have good idea depending on the season. Before I head off to the market I like to make a note of some of the things I need for the week, leaving it a little “open ended” due to the nature of the market. I may decide I need a few vegetables for side dishes, flowers, and some meats — and then I wait to see what the market has to offer. If I can’t get what I want (usually a specific type of meat or veggie) then after the market I head over to the farm to pick up any leftover items.
3) Be open!
Some days I’ll end up trying/buying some things I didn’t even have on my radar. Recently a local cheese shop came to the market and I tried some of their fresh mozzarella — the best I had ever tasted!! I ended up buying a 1/2 lb. to have during the week and it was awesome. I hadn’t planned on buying any cheese that day, but it was so great I had to go for it.
4) Have fun
The market usually has live music playing and some vendors that sell breakfast sandwiches and fresh brewed coffee, so I like to leave some time for me to enjoy these parts of the market. I ensure that we have enough time to wander around, chat with some of the vendors, try out some of the products, and have a coffee or sandwich before we head home.
Do you have a local farmers’ market?