It’s that special time of the year again when local farmer’s markets are getting back in full swing! By supporting Beach Boulevard Flea & Farmer’s Market in Jacksonville, Fl, you’ll be supporting local artists and vendors, which will make you feel really good about where your money is going. You also get to enjoy killer deals on fresh fruits and vegetables, browse through local artists’ latest works of art, and enjoy live music playing in the background as you stroll around. It’s the perfect event to check out during the enjoyable spring and summer months.
While the comradery of a farmer’s market is fun and exciting, it may be overwhelming to newcomers. With these 10 helpful tips, you’ll be hitting up Jacksonville’s largest and best farmer’s market like a pro!
1. Bring Cash
We’ve all heard the saying before, “Cash is King.” It’s certainly true for farmer’s markets! Certain vendors may not accept credit cards or checks, therefore having cash on hand will guarantee you’ll get the goods you want. It’s also a great way to ensure you don’t overspend. Bring the maximum amount you want to spend plus a little extra “emergency” money if you see a candle that you’re dying to have, or if a local farmer is offering you a great deal for buying cucumbers in bulk.
2. Loop Around First
Even if you’re tempted to buy the first bracelet that pulls at your heartstrings, skip it and keep walking. The smartest way to tackle a farmer’s market is to make a loop around the entire location first. Take notes of where you’d like to come back to. After you’ve seen everything the market has, you’ll spend your money wiser. Maybe you’ll see another bracelet you love even more! You never know.
Tip: If you see something heavy or large you want, purchase it at the end so you don’t have to lug it around the entire time you’re there.
3. Time It Right
Knowing when to stop by at a farmer’s market depends on what you plan on buying and how you prefer to shop. If you want the freshest produce, arrive bright and early. On the flip side, if you’re looking for incredible discounts, stop by later in the day about an hour before they close. Most vendors don’t want to take their products home so they’ll likely give you a great deal.
4. Try Something Brand New
One of the joys of farmer’s markets is sampling new products you didn’t know you were missing out on before! Ask for samples and keep an open mind. Whether it’s fresh jam, dips, desserts, syrup, or soaps, one of these items may become a staple in your household right after you discover it.
5. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
If you live far away from the market, keep a cooler in your trunk to keep veggies and other items cool on the way home. Also, bring your own containers and bags to carry your goodies in since many vendors won’t have any on hand.
6. Buy Bulk Portions
Vendors are typically jumping with joy at the chance to sell large quantities of locally-grown produce. You get more bang for your buck, and they make more money overall. If you love home canning or freezing, think about this the next time you’re at the farmer’s market.
7. Buy In Season
Know which fruits are in season to get the best tasting fruits and vegetables. Grocery store produce just doesn’t compare to the mouth-watering organic produce you can find at your local farmer’s market. Remember this helpful tip: Berries are best in May, corn is best in August, and apples and peaches are at their best in September.
8. Ask Questions
The vendor knows the ins and outs of every product they’re selling, so don’t be afraid to ask any questions about anything. Questions could include, what pesticides were used, how to store something, or how to use an item correctly. Most vendors will be more than happy to give you answers! They know happy customers will most likely return in the future.
9. Spread the Word
Farmer’s markets need a ton of local support to survive. When you find something awesome at the market, tell all your friends about it! Keep in mind that most of the vendors are farmers, artists, and craftspeople who depend on your business to make it out in the world. Word of mouth travels fast, so be sure to recommend your favorite farmer’s markets to ensure they’ll stick around for many more years to come.
10. Make a Whole Day of It
New traditions can begin at any time! You just might find that going to the farmer’s market becomes your families’ favorite thing to do every Saturday. There’s so much to do and see, and you can definitely spend most of the day hanging out and browsing. Relax, enjoy the music, walk around, try new foods, and enjoy the vibrant local atmosphere!
Be sure to remember these tips the next time you’re heading to the Beach Boulevard Flea & Farmers Market! We’re open on Friday from 7 AM – 5 PM, Saturday & Sunday from 9 AM – 5 PM.
You can easily find and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @jaxfleamarket for all the latest up-to-date pictures and information. Be sure to post your favorite finds on social media, we absolutely love seeing them!