Monday, September 22, 2008

#25 The next best thing

Okay, so I mentioned this in my last post, but it's worthy of it's own post. The Farmer's Market! Just about everywhere has one. So next to growing your own produce, this is the best way to get fresh local stuff. This summer I have depended on it for things like garlic, eggplant (mine didn' t do well,) berries (the ones we didn't pick ourselves), and other odds and ends. Yes, sometimes they can be more expensive than the grocery store, but the freshness and having the food grown locally is worth it. But you also need to shop the whole thing to find the best price on the produce you want. Another trick is to go right when the booths are ready to be packed up. This is especially useful if you are looking for a large amount of something. Most of the vendors really don't want to take the produce back home to sit for a few days until the next market (here they are Tues. and Sat.) Offer them what price you want to pay, and the worse that will happen is that they will say "no." If you go often, you can build relationships with the vendors and let them know what kind of things you are looking for at what price, and you'll be amazed at what they can come up with for you.
Pros: Fresh produce, with the middle-man eliminated. It doesn't have to be shipped across the country.
Cons: They are only available in the summer time (for obvious reasons.) And only at limited times. Prices can be high.

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