How to Pick Produce at a Farmers’ Market

Farmers’ markets are excellent for more than just purchasing fresh fruits and veggies. Read on to learn the benefits of supporting local.

Farmers’ markets are excellent because you can support local businesses while accessing fresh fruits and veggies. Shopping at local farmers’ markets entails more than having delicious fruits and vegetables in your kitchen. However, it means that you’re also supporting local farmers and helping them make a sustainable living for their families. 

Plus, fruits and veggies from farmers’ markets tend to be fresher because they are grown locally, coming straight from the farm, and not shipped thousands of miles away. 

In short, shopping at a farmers’ market is a decision that you can feel great about, undeniably. How do you pick the best fruit and vegetables at a local farmers’ market? We’re here to share what you should consider. 

Look at the Color

The ripeness of a fruit or vegetable depends on its color. You can tell a lot about a plant by how intensely pigmented it is. It all depends on what you’re shopping for, but the golden rule for most foods is that the richer the color, the more likely the food is to be ripe. 

This rule applies to greens as well. Produce color lets you know how long a plant has been in the sun and how long its sugars have had time to develop. 

Understand What’s in Season

Before you go to the market, it’s helpful to know what produce is in season. You’ll know what to buy when you get there. Produce varies by time of year and seasonality of available products in your area. You’ll already know what you can expect to see at the market. 

For example, our site features shoulder season crops, which are crops planted in mid-March through mid-May or mid-September through mid-November when the weather isn’t too hot or cold. Our crops include: 

  • Rainbow carrots
  • Field lettuces
  • Radish mixes
  • Fall squash
  • Sweet potatoes 

You might see many of these crops if you visit a local farmers’ market. 

Pay Attention to Wilting

If fruits or vegetables sit for a while, they will appear wilted, wrinkled, and puckered. Regardless, some greens will suffer from wilting on a scorching day. However, look for products that weather the elements unscathed as a sign of the time between harvest and market. 

Look for Obvious Signs of Ripe Melons

Trying to buy a ripe watermelon can be tricky. How do you pick a melon without being able to look at the mesocarp or fleshy part of the melon? Ripe cantaloupes, in particular, don’t show any signs of green on the exocarp or outermost part of the fruit. If they do, they are most likely ripe on the inside. 

A telltale sign of ripe melons is a fragrant smell. On the other hand, watermelons of all shapes, sizes, and varieties should be green and vibrant on the exocarp. Also, a creamy yellow field spot will let you know which watermelons have spent more time in the sun, ripening to sweetness. 

Choose Corn By Its Size

Corn is easy to choose by sight alone. Say to farmers’ market owners: “I’ll take the biggest ears of corn you have.” Opt for thicker ears, especially during the late summer before cornworms arrive. 

Contact Baywater Farms today if you want fresh and sustainable fruits and veggies at your farmers’ market. 


Baywater Farms is a family-owned and operated farm servicing Baltimore, Washington D.C., Maryland, Delaware beaches, and the Eastern Shore. We are capable of meeting the demands of your produce distributor, restaurant produce supplier, CSA produce supplier, or wholesale produce supplier while maintaining the integrity and character of a small farm. When you work with Baywater Farms, you work with an experienced, ethical, and local farm dedicated to providing the highest-quality heirloom produce.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 2nd, 2022 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.