1. Go EarlyThe best produce is often found right when the market opens. Avoid choosing from picked-over produce by arriving at your local market as early as possible.
2. Go OftenBuy only as much as you will eat within a few days, and store produce (except tomatoes) in the refrigerator or in a cool, dark place. Flavor and nutrients diminish quickly.
3. Bring CashMost vendors appreciate it if you have small bills for purchasing. And while some larger markets will accept credit cards, most will not accept personal checks.
4. Take Your KidsThere's no better way to introduce your children to new foods than letting them take part. Allow kids to talk to the vendors and pick out some produce.
5. Recycle, Reduce, ReuseYou're already a steward of the environment by shopping at your local farmers market, so remember to take it one step further and bring your own canvas bags, baskets, or boxes to carry away your purchase for the day.
6. Take Your TimeScope out the entire market before making your selections. Prices and types of produce vary among the different vendors. You'll want to shop just as wisely here as anywhere else.
7. Bright Is BestLook for blemish-free, brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Any bruised or damaged produce will spoil quickly.
8. Talk to FarmersMake connections with the local farmers in your area. You might glean some unique cooking tips or even recipe ideas.
9. Don't Wash Right AwayWash fresh produce just before cooking or serving–not before storing.