You don’t have to drain your wallet to give your family fresh fruits and vegetables. Frank Cangemi, owner of Miles Farmers Market in Solon, offers his advice on staying on a budget while buying the best produce.
1. Look for what’s on sale. Expense doesn’t equal better produce, Cangemi says. Instead, fresher produce tends to be more affordable because it’s also more plentiful.
2. Figure out what’s in season. Not sure what’s in season? Your grocer gives you a big hint. Usually, seasonal produce is placed in bigger bins that are prominently displayed.
3. Go to a dedicated seller. “We hang our hat on the fact that produce is our main thing,” Cangemi says. Markets that specialize in produce tend to carry a larger assortment and the freshest varieties because that’s their primary business.
Hot Trend: Going Back To The Farm
Farmers markets are becoming more common throughout the region. Beyond supporting the area’s economy, there are numerous benefits to eating local.
“Farm-fresh food hasn’t traveled as far so it’s at the peak of ripeness — and flavor — usually both fruits and vegetables are sweeter and even pack more nutrients,” says Trevor Clatterbuck, the owner of Fresh Fork Market, a community-supported agriculture business in Cleveland. If you’re new to farmers markets, Clatterbuck encourages customers to ask the farmer if he or she grew the product to make sure the person is indeed the producer. He also says to embrace a little dirt on the produce as a good sign: “Rejoice that you know its coming directly from the farm.”