Farmers Markets Around Baltimore
Farmers markets are a fabulous way to enjoy local foods. They often have more than just food, and can be a fun place to visit with the whole family. You may see live music, local crafts, or food trucks. Farmers markets are so much more than ripe tomatoes! Here are some tips to make your experience the best it can be:
Plan your trip – what is in season? If you know what you might find, then you can have some ideas for meal planning before you go. Once you arrive, walk through the market to see what’s available, then return to those stalls that have what you want.
Go early, or go late – the earliest shoppers get the most variety. If it is early for strawberries, they might be available, but only if you are there early. Or go late, and you might get lucky on some discounted foods as the farmers are packing up for the day. Either way, there will be less crowds to deal with.
Bring cash – it is much faster to get your products when you have cash and don’t need to wait for change. You may find farmers willing to take credit cards. Many vendors now accept EBT, but not all do. You never know if your farmer will accept alternate forms of payment.
Bring your own bags – not all farmers have them, and some vendors may not want to provide them. Bring a wheeled cart or wagon if you need it. Carry a big backpack. This is an excellent chance to buy food with zero packaging.
Bring a cooler – if you are traveling far to get home, or buying something like meat that needs refrigeration, be prepared. A cooler in your trunk will allow you to buy more products and get them home safely.
Talk with your farmer – ask them questions. If you see something new to you, don’t be afraid to ask about it. If you like it, let your farmer know. If you would like to see something special, ask them if they grow it. The farmers may not know you want something special.
Buy in bulk – you may get a discount for buying larger amounts. Then you can go home and preserve it so you can enjoy those short season foods for longer.
Tell your friends and family – let them know how much you enjoy visiting farmers markets. Let them try some of the food you buy. Farmers markets can be a lot of fun for the whole family. Please spread the word so we can encourage more local food options.
What happens when it gets cold and my local market closes for the season? There are a few farmers markets open year round in your Baltimore Foodshed. Go visit them when the weather is chilly and see what they have to offer. The more demand farmers see for foods all year, the more options we can have for the future. Farmers markets in warmer months are great. But eating fresh local foods all year long is definitely an option.
Supporting local farmers markets is important. If we don’t go visit them, they won’t last. Baltimore has a lot of great farmers markets out there, and we need to keep them strong!