To market to market, to buy a fat pig
Farmer’s Market, Yippe! Love the fresh food from folks that live my way. Love getting my eggs, veggies, plants for the garden and meats from folks that I know. All sorts of other stuff too, hand spun yarns, honey, maple syrup, fresh ground coffee… and all the goodie goods a gal can eat. Sweet treats and savory pick up meals. Nothing better than Farmer’s Market.
Washing the produce when it gets home is important. Not ony should we wash our stuff from the supermarket, but it is a good idea to look at the fresh produce you get from the farmer market. I would trade off a getting natural insect verses pesticide residue on my produce. Nasties like strawberry insects should be washed away before you consume the fruit. Tiny little things, those Aphids who like to hang out on lettuce and collard greens. But not a part of my diet, please. Also, washing produce well will remove lingering pesticides and potential higher than safe levels of e-coli, Listeria and salmonella.
Fresh eggs are the best, so make sure that the eggs you are buying are coming out of a cooler and haven’t been sitting around in the sun for a while. Eggs should be washed and ask the farmer when they were collected and how long they have been refrigerated.
Local meats should also be packaged properly and in a cooler. Purchase your cold items at the end of your visiting and shopping. And when chatting with the vendors, take the time to make sure that your producer is up on all Vermont state regulations for selling quality fresh products.
Producers need to take care too. You are out in the weather, tent or not you are exposed for several hours. Hats, sunscreen, light clothes that cover burnable spots, you know the drill. Loading and unloading can be taxing, so pack in smaller loads when possible to reduce back strain. Keeping hydrated with fluids will keep your mind sharp and you will be less likely to make money changing mistakes.
Be proud of your hard work by selling only fresh produce and show your customers that you take precautions with keeping your chilled produce chilled. If you are offering samples, then have disposable utensils and make sure that you are wearing food handling gloves if you are giving out samples directly. This gives a message of safety which will translate to better sales. Go on, give it a try. And I will see you at the market.