Flowers, Pork, Chicken, Vegetables, Eggs, Honey, Baked Goods, Oils, Natural Soap, and Breakfast Sandwiches…the Havre Grace Farmer’s market comes alive everySaturday from May to October, 9am-12noon with the BEST of Harford and Cecil County agricultural products. The Havre de Grace Farmer’s Market is currently set up at the foot of Congress Avenue at Hutchins Park under the large tent.
Farmer’s markets are a key part of sustainable farming practices. They make it possible for smaller farms to sell directly to consumers while also encouraging both organic and specialty farming.
As a result, our dinner tables end up with both healthier and more interesting foods. Not only can you buy fresher, more nutritious, and better tasting food, you support our local agriculture community.
Local markets are extremely popular with both farmers and their shoppers. The abundance and variety of offerings, while exciting can sometimes make them a bit confusing to the first-time visitor. Here are eight tips for getting the most out of your trip to the market:
- Do an initial walk through. Before you buy, take the time to walk around the market and see what’s there. If you see something that looks tempting, check to see who else might be selling the same thing for less. Talk to the different growers. Find out when foods were picked. Ask for samples. Make notes. This is the fun part of the shopping experience.
- 2. Go with the seasonal flow. To get the most out of a farmer’s market, you need to get in tune with the seasons and base your shopping around what’s fresh in your area. It’s best not to take along a list — see what’s available and take it from there.
- Go early. If you can, get to the market when it first opens so that you’ll get the best selection.
- Keep it fresh. It doesn’t make sense to buy really fresh produce and then let it wilt in your car while you run more errands. If you’re driving to the market, load an inexpensive cooler with ice to keep things crisp. If you’re going to buy flowers, bring a bucket half filled with water. And make the market the last or only stop on your itinerary.
- Bag it. Farmer’s markets don’t feature shopping carts, so bring your own tote bags. Stuff the bags with some plastic bags you’ve saved for fruits and vegetables and ask that vendors use those instead of new ones.
- Support organic growers. Besides being healthier, food grown according to organic standards usually tastes better, too. The farmer’s market is also a good place to ask growers about their farming practices so that you can educate yourself as to what exactly “organic” means in your area.
- Try new foods. One of the best things about farmer’s markets is that they give us access to delicious new foods that we might never find in a corporate supermarket — whether it’s an heirloom tomato, a rare type of apple, or an exotic vegetable we’ve never even heard of. Try to buy one thing each week that you’ve never had before. If you’re not sure what to do with that unusual flat iron steak, ask the farmer for suggestions on how to cook it — they’re often happy to oblige.
- Make it a family affair. The farmer’s market is a fun place to go as a family because kids love the atmosphere and the chance to sample the fruits and vegetables as well. What better way to introduce them to the importance of fresh and wholesome food? Plus, you don’t have to worry about your kids sneaking a box of oreo cookies.