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Celebrate national farmer's market week!

A fantastic bounty from the Coventry Regional Farmer's Market
A fantastic bounty from the Coventry Regional Farmer's MarketPhoto: Bettie Rivard-Darby

This week, August 1st to August 7th, is National Farmer’s Market week. To celebrate, try visiting one of the many wonderful markets in the area! In Connecticut, there are farmer’s markets held all over the state, every day of the week, ranging from very small to enormous. Try searching on LocalHarvest.org to find one near you.  Here are some helpful tips to get the most out of your farmer’s market visit:

  • Try to arrive as early as you can. Many vendors will sell out of their best items within the first 15-30 minutes.
  • Get to know your farmers. In many cases, having a good report with the farmers will lead to great suggestions once they learn what you like to eat. Also, if there is something you know you want to purchase ahead of time, you can often ask to have something held for you.
  • Ask lots of questions. Not sure how to prepare something or want to know when something will be available? Are you wondering if it was grown with pesticides? Just ask your friendly farmer! They are a great source of knowledge and are more than happy to share that with you.
  • Sample, sample, sample. Many farmers and food producers would love to have you taste their product and discover a new favorite.
  • Be patient. Depending on which market you go to, you may have to wait in lines. You’ll soon discover that this line is completely worth it - fresh produce is the best!
  • Be adventurous! Since many vendors are willing to offer samples and provide product information, this is a great place to try something new.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for good deals. Many farms will offer seconds - produce that is overripe or damaged - for extraordinarily good deals. This food may not be pretty, but is totally edible and great for cooking or baking.
  • Bring your kids and/or your dogs. Many markets are family friendly-offering music, children’s activities and treats for your pets.
  • Most importantly, have fun! Farmer’s markets are a great place to enjoy the beautiful summer weather and meet lots of fantastic people who support local foods. Besides buying some delicious food, you might make a few new friends in the process!

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