If you haven’t noticed, we are huge fans of the Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market. While many cities only get to experience their local farmers market seasonally, Old Towne Orange is fortunate enough to enjoy one all year round. There are many benefits of shopping at our local farmer’s market. Receiving fresh, nutritious, and delicious products is only one of the perks. When buying locally you know where your food is coming from, all while supporting local farmers and businesses.
If you’re new to shopping at the farmers market, the whole process may seem overwhelming. Even if you do attend frequently, there are ways to enhance your experience. With a few simple tips and tricks, we’ll have you shopping this Saturday like a seasoned veteran!
1. Make the rounds. Upon arrival, you’ll be surrounded by many exciting things. Your senses will tingle with the colorful produce, delectable scents, and live upbeat music playing as you stroll about the grounds. Walk around at least once to get a better understanding of where different items and vendors are located. You can easily make a mental note of where you wish to return. If you decide to make any large or heavy purchases, you can then plan on buying those at the end of your visit.
2. BYOB (Bring your own BAGS). Bringing the right type of carrier could make all the difference. Using a backpack is great for holding bulkier items. If you know you’re gonna be loading up, then bring a personal cart or wagon to schlep all your goodies. You may also want to consider bringing a small cooler. This way those delicious treats like homemade humus, salsa, and ceviche will stay just as fresh when arriving home – especially if you stop for a bite at one of OTOs wonderful array of restaurants.
3. Ask questions! One of the best things you can do while shopping at the farmers market is to chit-chat with the farmers and vendors. Sadly we don’t get this opportunity while shopping at the regular super markets. If you stumble on something new and
intriguing, ask about it (you might even get a taste)! Don’t be hesitant to ask about unfamiliar items, how to use/cook them, or any recommendations they may have. You will begin to learn many new things and quickly find how enthusiastic and passionate sellers are about their products.
4. Plan meals and make lists. If you haven’t already gotten in the habit of doing this, you definitely should make this part of your shopping routine. This easy trick is a time saver because you know exactly what to buy without wondering if you’re forgetting something. Not only will you save money but this will reduce the amount of food not utilized at its peak freshness.
5. Try something new each week. Although it’s important to plan ahead – treat yourself to something you haven’t tried before! Just do it!! We tend to select the same things when we shop, but try think outside of the box when there are so many unique things to discover. Be sure to taste seasonal items and try different variations and flavors of your staples!
Going to Orange Home Grown Farmers and Artisans Market is always a blast. It feels great connecting with people from within our city. Tell us your favorite about the farmers market. Don’t forget to check it out every Saturday from 9 am through 1 pm at 304 N. Cypress Street Orange, CA 92866.