As we move closer to winter, now is the time to take advantage of the final few weeks of farmers’ markets and all they have to offer. From fresh produce to preserves and homegoods, farmers’ markets are a great way to support local and receive impeccable quality. Not sure how to find a farmers’ market in your area? We have some tips to help you find and make the most of the best markets!

Use local Facebook groups. Local Facebook groups are a great resource for really anything that you’re seeking in the area, including farmers’ markets. Members can share their personal experiences and advice and can let you know what’s going on and when, and even what might be worth passing on if there’s a better market elsewhere.

Do a quick Google search. A Google search is a quick and easy way to see what farmers’ markets are in your area, including reviews and ratings. Use this tool to see what’s available to you, the address, the operating times, and the style of products offered. You can even find directions on how to get there!

Ask neighbours and other community members. Neighbours and other members of the community you often see around town are sure to have some insights on the best markets. Ask them their thoughts and then if you go, let them know what you thought of their recommendation.

Check your local news source. Not every community has a newspaper these days, but wherever you get your local news from, check to see if there are any articles or advertisements for farmers’ markets. You might have to keep checking over a few weeks.

Take a drive around town on a Saturday or Sunday morning. While not the most effective way of finding the best farmers’ markets, just taking a morning drive on the weekend can show you what’s happening around town. The bonus is that you can spontaneously decide to stop if you see an especially popular market!

Try out a different market each weekend. If you want to make your own decision about what the best farmers’ market in your area is, why not try out a different one each weekend? This will give you a sense of what each market offers and allow you to try them all out before deciding on which you think is the best.

Make a plan. It’s always nice to have a plan! Make a list of either what you need or what you’re looking for before going to the market. Farmers’ markets can sometimes be overwhelming in the sheer size and number of vendors. But knowing the main reason you’re there can help you appreciate all the offerings while staying focused on what you actually need.

Bring reusable bags. Using your own bags at the farmers’ market not only helps the environment, but also helps you as they’re stronger and more durable. Some vendors at the market might not even have bags so it’s always useful to have a few of your own on hand.

Carry cash with you. Most places these days offer card machines, but not everyone. Bring some cash with you just in case and save it for vendors who don’t offer card. If that’s no one, hold onto it for next time!

Tour the market in a way that makes sense. Farmers’ markets come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re not always organized in a particular way. Visit the vendors in a way that makes sense, meaning you won’t have to double back if you missed someone. For example, if the market is set up in a circular pattern, follow the circle around to everyone.

Shop according to season. It’s fall and that means certain produce is in season. Take advantage of this by focusing on produce like squashes and apples. They’re sure to be delicious!