Farmer’s markets are an amazing resource to pick up bulk fruits and vegetables. Every state has a farmer’s market, but most times, it’s unwieldy or not cost effective to go to the state farmer’s market. They’re usually at least 100-200 miles away, and require a day trip to get the goods.
For the single person or couple, a lot of the fruits and veggies will go bad before there’s a chance to use them. Here’s some ways to take advantage of buying in bulk at the state farmer’s market.
Taking Advantage of the Farmer’s Market
Canning and Preserving
Two years ago, I had an extrava-can-za. Picked up a crate of tomatoes and a crate of baby cukes, and then went on a canning festival. We also picked up giant bags of green beans, greens, and a whole lot of jars and vinegar. You might not be able to use all of the goods at once, but if you take the time to can it, you can use the veggies all year round. Canning is simple enough, and offers several advantages.
You might not need an entire crate of tomatoes, but if all of you go in on a crate of tomatoes, you can split up the bounty to where it’s quite manageable. Then, you can also have your personal extrava-can-za to really preserve everything. You can also have massive cooking and tasting parties.
Enlist Friends Version 2
You might be lucky enough to have some friends near your state farmer’s market. If you do, ask them for a favor and meet them halfway to your house. That way, you can get a chance to see your friends, but you are also able to score some great deals at the market. Make sure that you pay them back so you can do it at different times throughout the year.
These are folks that go to the farmer’s market so you don’t have to.
CSA stands for community supported agriculture. The one that we use makes trips down to the state farmer’s market (about 80 miles away from here) and picks up many things which are in season. They offer baskets for $15, and you get a mixture of the best fruits and vegetables sorted out into small bags. There’s enough for one or two people, and you’re getting a good $30-$40 worth of stuff. At the end of the day, you have to weigh the costs of a CSA to see if it makes sense for you.
Small Farmer’s Markets
The local CSAs will go to the farmer’s market, but there are normally several other farmer’s markets around the area that make a trip to the large one and resell their wares to their own local communities. This is advantageous because they take on the aggravation and costs of driving. These local shops are providing a great service.
Being an individual or a couple often makes it a challenge to really make the most of the bulk deals that you’ll receive at the state farmer’s market. Hopefully, with these suggestions, you’ll be able to capitalize upon your state farmer’s market opportunities more readily.
Emily Hunter blogs at Million Ways to Save, where she looks for the best ways to save you money. Along with tips, she also offers ideas on making money, debt reduction, and making your lifestyle work.