Shop what's in season. The majority of the market’s produce will be seasonal items, but chat with your farmers about what they recommend for the time of year. This will ensure that you're eating foods at their peak — which is the most beneficial for your health. The favorite season of farmer Todd Hopkins from Forks Farms? "We love fall because there's such a bounty of fresh, local produce and such beautiful colors of the pumpkins, tomatoes, dark leafy greens, beets. It's also when most farmers are harvesting their animals," says Hopkins.
Try something new. Make it a goal to try something that you wouldn’t typically buy. Ask the grower for cooking or serving suggestions. Who knows, you may find your favorite new food.
Befriend the farmers. Ask growers about their specific farming practices: Are they organic? Do they use antibiotics or hormones with their animals? Do they spray pesticides? Get to know what they recommend or think their farm produces best. This also allows you to feel more connected with the food you are eating since you will have a personal relationship with the person growing it. Krivanek encourages all farmers market goers to ask a ton of questions.
To take it one step further, Hopkins says, "It's even better if you're able to go and visit their farm, see how they grow, make sure they are farming the way they advertise and that you genuinely feel good about what you're supporting.”
Ask about CSA memberships. Can't always get to a farmers market? Ask at the stands about a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership, which allows you to essentially subscribe to a farm (or group of farms) and receive a share of their in-season harvest.