> produce shopping guide


I have friends who often ask how to pick good produce or if they can go to the farmer's market with me to see how I shop. A lot of people know they should go to the farmer's market for fresh produce, but once there they don't know how to choose from everything that's available. Unfortunately, even among the sacred halls of the farmer's market, things can get rotten. So I created this guide, based on my own experience, conversations with farmers, and research from other sources. (By the way, these pictures aren't mine; they're here for the purposes of this guide.)

In general, remember that when you're shopping for produce:

* Use all your senses-- sight, smell, taste, and feel. You'll also need your ears to listen to the farmer.
* While you, as the buyer, have a right to inspect the produce, don't damage it. It is the farmer's product until you buy it.
* Talk to the person behind the stand. Ask them for a taste of the product. Ask them when it was picked, where it was grown, and what types of fertilizers and pesticides were used. They can also tell you some ways to use the produce.
*If you find a farmer whose produce you like, get to know them better. Tell them what you use their produce for and what varieties you like. Growers use that feedback to better serve their customers.