National Farmers Market Week starts Sunday, August 6th. This week highlights the important role farmers markets play in the nation’s food system. Last year, $20.2 million of SNAP funds were used at farmers markets in the United States, helping families buy fresh, healthy food and support their local farmers. Right here in Virginia, we have 250 markets, more than twice the number from just 10 years ago. Ninety-seven Virginia farmers markets accept SNAP, and many offer SNAP matching as well. The best way to celebrate is to visit your local market. To make it easier for first-time shoppers and busy families, here’s a collection of great resources for shopping at a farmers market on a budget.
Eat Smart, Move More at Farmers Markets videos – This video series shows you how to use your EBT card at a farmers market, tips for shopping at a farmers market, cooking ideas for food from a farmers market, and more.
10 Reasons to Shop at a Farmers Market from Nutrition.gov
Archive of farmers market posts from our blog – We’ve shared a lot of tips over the years for eating smart and moving more at farmers markets. Be sure to read Five Tips for Shopping Smart at Farmers Markets and Know Before You Go: Tips for New Farmers Market Shoppers. These contain some of the most helpful information for your visit to the market.
Seasonal produce calendars. These are helpful as a general guide to when different fruits and veggies are available in season in Virginia. Produce in season is cheaper and tastier and probably only available at the market when it’s being harvested in your area.
Recipes! The best part of shopping at a farmers market is all the tasty food. Here are recipes for common fruits and vegetables grown in Virginia. Our Seasonal Recipe Round-up posts are helpful for finding seasonal recipe ideas, too.
Bonus Resource: Five Meal Sample Menu (with shopping lists and recipes) using farmers market products for a family of four. This will give you a great head start for shopping at the market this week. The recipes are simple, low-cost, and follow MyPlate. Enjoy!
What other questions do you have about shopping at a farmers market?