I Got Free Food from the Farmer's Market
Ah, farmer’s market. A lovely and quaint place. Soak up all
the good and friendly vibes, both from the farmers coming to share the fruits
of their labor and appreciators of fresh homemade food.
I want to share with you how I got free food and good deals
at the farmer’s market.
1) Go an
hour before closing.
This is the most well known tip. When the vendors are packing up, they might
offer deals because some goods cannot be brought home. Keep an ear out and
listen for those savings!
I approach different stalls and ask, “Might you have any produce that you would
be otherwise throwing away that I could buy for cheap?”
This method has proved wildly successful. I approached a
kind and generous grape vendor, Jose, in this way. He had a huge box of single
grapes that were mostly in perfect condition. I’m honestly not sure why he was
even throwing them away, but he told me to take whatever I wanted for free. The
rest would be used as compost on his farm. I ended up walking away with nearly
2 pounds of beautiful, fresh grapes for free!
At a mushroom vendor, I asked the same question. He offered
me $2 off a bag of beautiful maitake and king trumpet mushrooms, and I took it!
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. If you don’t try,
you’ll never know.
for boxes of scraps (that are perfectly fine and edible).
Walking around, I would see
boxes of lettuce or carrot tops pulled off. I approached these vendors, and I
asked, “Can I have those?” The answer was almost always yes. To them, these are
meager scraps. But to me, the carrot tops become a nutritious pesto, and the
lettuce leaves can be ripped into a salad or eaten as lettuce cups. They were
beautiful and in great condition.
One box even had peppers in them, which had some bad spots.
Simple solution: cut them away. The rest of the peppers were beautiful and
edible, and I ended up roasting them in the oven and turning them into a pepper
and cauliflower soup to have for dinner.
A tip one vendor told me was to say that the food is for my
pet bunny if the vendors ask. They technically aren’t allowed to give the food
to people, understandably so.
grateful to the generous spirit of the kind humans I interacted with at the
In the end, the food was free and will feed me for a week, but I will not take
for granted the generosity that was shown to me. I will give back to the
community, and perpetuate the cycle of good karma. Energy flows throughout our
world, from humans to humans. It is neither created nor destroyed. I was shown
a great deal of kindness, and I am forever grateful to these kind souls for
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