The Pros Reveal: How to Shop at the Farmers' Market

Before you hit the farmers' market in search of delicious summer produce, read these expert shopping tips to get the biggest bang for your buck and make the most of in-season fruits and vegetables (11 Photos)

Lexi Dwyer on Apr 20, 2014 at 5:00PM

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The Pros Reveal: How to Shop at the Farmers' Market

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Know the Rules

Because every market has its own guidelines that govern what's allowed to be sold, the term "farmers' market" means different things in different places. Some permit vendors to peddle only goods that they've produced or grown themselves, while others have a more expansive criteria that might include any produce items, even ones they've purchased commercially. (That's why in some areas, you might spot obvious imports like bananas or coffee displayed in the stalls.)

"Plenty of markets are augmented with things that aren't necessarily local," says Ruben. "If you aren't sure, it never hurts to have a conversation with the person behind the counter." To find out more about the criteria for markets in your area, Ruben suggests browsing the United States Department of Agriculture's farmers' market database, which offers basic information about each market and a link to its website.

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