Hello there VA Bloggers, and friends, my name is Bekuh and I blog over at Secondhand Sundays. Secondhand Sundays is my personal blog that showcases my love of vintage, food, crafts, and the great outdoors. I live in the southwest corner of Virginia with my husband Ryan and our pup named Nellie. I’m here today to share a little bit about our recent adventures at the historic Roanoke farmer’s market. It’s important to Roanokers that you add the word historic before farmer’s market whenever you mention the downtown area, just a little tip if you ever visit, wink wink.
Ryan and I are committed local shoppers and a huge portion of our monthly food budget goes towards locally sourced fruits and veggies. For a lot of people, my family included, this seems like a crazy budgetary decision considering we’re newlyweds with more than a few student loans to pay off, but it doesn’t have to be expensive to live this way. Farmer’s markets do have pricier booths, and organic can get outrageous quick, but with a little effort and menu planning you can find great deals on real produce. A bonus, you get to spend a morning with the one you love picking out all the goodies.
We love to go to the markets early when the booths are still being set-up and the crowds are sparse (this was right after the freak storm so the crowds were even more tame last week). We scope out what looks good, and what vendors carry items we’re anxious to look at, and then we get coffee or some goodies to eat while we plan our attack.
Now I’m not saying we don’t make some rash decisions on what to buy based on looks, like those carrots above. We had no plans to buy carrots but I couldn’t resist snatching up a bunch and they made a delicious addition to our grilling that night. You also have to remember to browse all of the stands for a good deal, the tomatoes below were beautiful but we ended up finding the same gorgeous tomatoes for $1.50 a pound just a few stalls down.
Farmer’s Markets are also a great source for floral and fauna and I love checking out the flower stalls both growing, and cut for bouquets. It usually inspires me to go home and redesign our centerpieces, or buy a bunch of flowers for our bedside table. They had giant succulents for $7 and I found it really hard to resist such a great deal.
Buying in bunches seems to be the best method for saving money at the markets; containers full of potatoes, or cucumbers that they sell at a discount. You can usually tell when something is hitting it’s peak season because they have bunches and bunches of it at every stall. I’ve also been told you can haggle with the stall vendors, though they’re mostly older farmers and I feel terrible asking them to make things cheaper. Their sweet old faces always melt my heart.
We left the market with a container of cucumbers, potatoes, three tomatoes, a basket of peaches, and a bunch of carrots having only spent $14. Take that Walmart and Kroger, I kick your chemical and pesticide covered veggies in the face. I hope I’ve inspired you to visit your local farmer’s market and try out the delicious foods that live there. I promise you won’t be disappointed by the quality or the price. You are what you eat, at least that’s what I’ve always been told.