By Fit For Work Staff

Its National Fruit and Vegetable Month! Buying produce at the local farmer’s market is one of the best ways you can support your local farmers as well as get the best fresh produce—what a deal!

Just think, when you buy produce at the farmer’s market, most of the time that produce has been grown and taken care of within 50 miles of that location. That’s pretty cool!

Produce at the grocery store can come from as far away as 2,000 miles.

Never been to a farmer’s market before? Well, here are some tips to make your farmer’s market experience the best one yet:

Make sure to bring cash! Some booths will take credit cards but it is a lot easier (and faster) to use cash.

Take your own reusable bags or baskets. Some places will have plastic grocery bags they will place your produce in, but it is much easier to bring your own higher quality bag (that you can fit more stuff in).

Try to shop as early as possible. The best deals, best produce and most popular items tend to sell right away. Plus, if you head to the farmer’s market early (or later in the evening, if it is at night) it is much cooler out.

When you first arrive, check out what every booth has first. See who is selling what and for what price, and then go back and make your purchases to get the best deal.

Remember: Be mindful of how much you are purchasing because produce and homemade baked items, in particular, don’t last very long after you purchase them. You don’t want to waste your money.

Don’t be afraid to ask the seller questions about their product. Most farmers want you to purchase an item so they will happily tell you what the food tastes like, how to prepare it, what to cook with it and how it was grown.

Do your research ahead of time to find out which produce is in season and when you should wait to purchase it.

Want more information about produce? Download the Seasonal and Simple Produce app.

Click here to find a farmer’s market near you, or check out these Lincoln and Omaha locations:

Lincoln

  • Haymarket Farmer’s Market – 7th and P Street | 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday between May and October
  • Old Cheney Farmer’s Market – 55th and Old Cheney Road | 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday between April and October
  • Fallbrook Farmer’s Market – 570 Fallbrook Blvd. | 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday between May 26 and September
  • University Place Farmer’s Market - | 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Wednesday between May and October
  • Downtown Garden Market – 16th and Centennial Mall | Noon to 4 p.m. every Wednesday between June and August
  • St. Paul UCC Farmer’s Market – 1302 F St. | 4: 30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday between May and October

Omaha

  • Omaha Farmer’s Market – 11th and Jackson streets | 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Saturday between May and October
  • Aksarben Village Farmer’s Market – 67th and Center Street | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday between May and October
  •  Omaha Village Pointe Farmer’s Market – 168th and West Dodge Road | 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday between May and October
  • Bellevue Farmer’s Market – Washington Park, Franklin and West 20th Street | 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday between May and September
  • Papillion Farmer's Market - Washington (84th) Street and Lincoln Road | 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Wednesday between May and September

Key websites: