Today's "Friday Link" post will take you to some of our favorite farmers market toolkit items.
Ones, fives, tens, and quarters. The farmers will love you, and you'll shop faster! Each year, more stands take credit cards, but they tend to be the ones with higher priced items like meat and specialty foods. And, cash is fast, a bonus for you and your fellow shoppers.
My farmers market cash comes with me in a special accordion credit card wallet. Ones are on one side, fives on the other, with tens and twenties in the card slots. For ease in recognizing denominations, tens are folded in fourths and twenties in thirds. Change is in its separate compartment and my "Market Share" cards are in the outside window.
Bring Bags and Containers
Also bring what you'll need to tote your fresh food home. For example, I bring plastic containers for berries and cherry tomatoes. It ensures they arrive home in perfect condition.
We love the Sterilite Ultra-Seal Food Storage Containers for transporting food home in our backpacks. They are strong, the seal is tight, they don't leak, and they are lightweight. We prefer glass for long term storage or for any hot food, but these plastic ones are perfect for protecting fragile items.
Remember, a local farmer doesn't grow and pick fruit and vegetables to make them perfect for shipping, they grow and pick them to make them perfectly delicious. You also save the farm the expense of the bags and baskets and help the environment.
Keep it Cold
Bring an ice pack or a small cooler. It can hold all your shopping or just perishables like meat, fish, cheese, and eggs. We have a few favorite items for this task. The Arctic Zone Ultra High-Performance Expandable Double Capacity Lunch Pack is perfect for a fish or meat purchase.
We recently discovered and adore these ice sheets. You can wrap this around a product or lay it on top of a bag of items that need refrigeration.
Carry with Ease
We walk to markets and have always used backpacks to lug things home. This season, we decided we needed lighter versions for visits to farmers markets, since we now buy a wider selection of products there than in years past.
For marketing, we are using two of these lightweight Outlander backpacks. Penny likes hers so much that you'll often see her wearing it this summer. Many times, she has the second one tucked inside so, if the day brings on serendipitous shopping, Ed can share the load.
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photography: © 2013-2016 Penny & Ed Cherubino