Here’s How to Not Look Like an Amateur at Your Local Farmer’s Market

You can do better than that tote bag

A primary perk of L.A. living is the option to shop for produce (or anything, really) outdoors, all year round. And as the city has embraced all things artisanal, farmer’s markets specifically are having a resurgence. Some of our favorite smaller markets are the Atwater Village Farmer’s Market, Playa Vista Farmer’s Market, and the East Los Angeles Farmer’s Market.

You probably know the basics of marketing — i.e., bring a bag, and bring cash, this is not amateur hour — but here are six tips to take your far-mar game to the next level.

  1. Consider the Rolling Cart
    They’re not just for small dogs. If you’re going to commit, ponder the possibility that you might buy more than what will fit in a tote.
  2. Swap Out your Tote for a Backpack
    And speaking of totes, let’s just be honest with each other, shall we? Carrying a tote bag is bullshit. Backpacks have more space, distribute weight evenly, and actually carry your shit instead of just looking pretty wrapped around it.
  3. Ask the Farmer if You Can Pick up at the Farm
    If you find a vendor you love, you might be able to go straight to the farm and pick up goods from there. This serves two purposes — you’ll get to know the farmer personally (clutch far-mar hack), and you might get a discount on the products.
  4. Find a Buddy to Split Things With
    If you want to avoid the possibility of buying too much parsley (because you will always buy too much parsley), go with a friend and split things up.
  5. You Can Ask The Farmer to Cut the Tops Off 
    There’s no shame in not using the radish tops or the carrot leaves. Ask the farmer to cut them off for you, and save space in your backpack or wheelbarrow. And finally…
  6. Take Stock of your Fridge before Leaving
    We’ve all played host to the counter of shame: Piles of greens dying a slow death between the toaster and the blender because you forgot that you already had two bags of spinach at home. This is easily avoided; be a grown-up, and look inside first.