This weeks blog post comes from Werner Minshall of terrataste.com. Werner is an expert in all things organic and farmers market. For more information visit http://www.terrataste.com or follow him on instagram @terrataste
Navigating the farmers market for the first time can be a challenging and overwhelming experience if you are looking for the best quality, locally sourced and organic ingredients. I remember my first time at the farmers and how overwhelmed I was with all the choices and farmers. So how do you know which farmers, ranchers and fish mongers are the best? Well, I have developed a simple checklist to help you.
1. Familiarize Yourself with the Market
Walk through the market one time. As you are walking notice what is in season and look for farms that have the organic certification. The farm is required to have a certificate (a piece of paper) visible with all of its products listed that are grown organically. Also, look for farms with produce that looks earthy and rugged. Mother Nature doesn’t have a specific look. It is okay if the produce has spots, bruises or holes.
2. Get to Know Your Farmer
Walk through the market again and this time stop at the organic farms that interest you and speak with farmers or the people manning the stand. Ask them about their farming practices. Ask them what they typically grow. Some farms grow apples, some farms grow veggies, some farms grow citrus, some farms raise cattle for milk, some farms grown grains for whole wheat bread and some farms grow baby greens.
3. Word of Mouth Works
When you talk to a farmer or employee ask them what other farms they would recommend at the market. All these farmers know who produces the best quality ingredients because they also shop at the market.
4. Try Before You Buy
When you select your ingredients always try them before you buy them to make sure they are packed full of flavor. Flavor is the essential component to leading a healthy lifestyle. If your healthy food doesn’t taste amazing then how do you expect to eat healthy every day. Will power will only last so long.
4. Rinse and Repeat
Keep continuing this process every time you go to the market and notice how become more knowledgeable and confident.Farmers markets are inspiring experiences full of colors, flavors and stories.