Shane Smith: Farmer’s Market Advice
Cheyenne Botanic Gardens Executive Director Shane Smith is offering advice on shopping at a farmer's market.
Smith says if you want the very best quality and widest selection it's best to arrive early before the products have been picked over. On the other hand, if you're hoping to get a deal, Smith says you should take the opposite approach and do your shopping close to the end of business. That's because by then vendors are trying to unload their remaining stock rather than taking it back home and possibly getting nothing at all for it.
Smith also says it's important to understand that just because something is on sale at a farmer's market doesn't mean it's fresh from the farm. Smith says it's not unusual for people to buy products on the wholesale market, like a grocery store does, and then set up a booth at a farmer's market, often selling at higher than grocery store prices.
Smith says it's always a good idea to ask where the food came from and how long ago it was harvested. He also recommends tasting the free samples when they are available.
Finally, Smith says he's heard the Colorado cantaloupe crop is running a little behind schedule this year, so you may not have seen any for sale yet. He says he's been told they should be available locally within the next couple of weeks.
He also reminds people it's important to wash off produce, especially any kind of melons, to get rid of pesticides and bacteria.