Monday, June 14, 2010

Farmer's Market Etiquette

I woke up to a fogged in Sunday morning at the beach that was just magical.  There's something about Sunday that just says peace.  By late morning the fog was burning off and the Chef and I were looking for something low-key and interesting to do outdoors.  We have driven by the local Farmer's Market a lot lately, but never seem to have time to stop and so decided that today was our day.

Well you wanna know what?  If you're looking for a low-key activity on a Sunday, apparently our Farmer's Market is not it.  Examine the mob in the background.  There's the Chef - ready to hurl half a flat of strawberries at the next person who attempts to trample us in order to get to the next vendor hollering "free samples!".

We were eyewitnesses to and victims of more social faux pas than I can count.  With this in mind we came up with the following pieces of advice regarding Farmer's Market Etiquette.  We reserve the right to add to this list as our experiences grow.  Sadly I think it may become a novel.  Or at least a pamphlet.

1.  Bring your own bag/roller contraption to carry any goods you purchase and STOP SCREAMING in the face of every vendor asking if you can buy their personally owned linen tote that looks approximately 10 years old and has seen more farmer's markets than you have or will ever visit.  I was followed by two grown men badgering vendors far and wide for their personal totes and was on the verge of just throwing mine at them and running off...but it was Marc Jacobs and that ain't right. Here's a fine example of a suitable market carry-all that not only serves its purpose, but also helps others in need. 


2.  Walk through the entire market rather than doing an impulse buy on the spot for the first item you see.  There are at least doubles of everything and sometimes the best prices and produce are in further booths.  I would also recommend wearing a sturdy shoe rather than a flip flop because the people with the roller carts are ruthless.  If they clip your foot you're on your own.

They look harmless don't they?  Well don't be fooled because they mean business.

3.  You might want to think twice before pushing over a paying patron in order to get to the free samples.

Here is an example of the withering glare from hell I gave to a man well over my father's age who shoved me aside to grab a single strawberry while I had my money containing hand out paying the kind strawberry selling lady.  He couldn't have cared less until I stood my ground and refused to budge much less hit the ground.  By then I shot him a dirty and turned and stomped off.  Grow up!! There's enough to go around for everyone!

Seriously.  There had to have been 100 strawberries.  It wasn't like they were closing shop never to be seen again.  Wait your turn much??  Get out much?? 

4.  If you haggle with an Asian lady, she will raise the price.

     (the picture above was taken several hours after all the people left and we felt safe to emerge once again)

This was so hilarious.  I was paying for something (a helmet - I kid!) and the lady said "$5".  As I was handing her the money the Chef was joking with her and he says "$4.50" and, without even skipping a beat, she goes "$6"!  It was so hilarious!  Then I hollered "$24!" and we all burst out laughing.  The vendors were all such great people.  It's the patrons I was terrified of...

5.  Don't be afraid to purchase your items closer to the end of the day because that's when farmers/vendors drop their prices and you can get even greater deals.  Here's some of what we got - although it was purchased on the fly in the middle of a raging mob :

Hope everyone had a safe and relaxing weekend.


LouBoo said...

Hi - oh such a shame - Farmer's Markets are meant to be nice places! They are, it's just that the paying public get in the way ;-)
Love what you bought though - so wholesome to come home with everything fresh and healthy!

By the way - thanks for your comment - I think it's great that you think of me in conversation with others; what a nice compliment!

Lou x

Anonymous said...

I am chuckling out loud ~ who knew the Farmer's Market could be such a scary place! ha ha xoxo

Closet Fashionista said...

Oooh lovely stuff! And great tips...yaow that seems crazy, don't think I could handle it

Fashion Meets Food said...

Love this post, and those strawberries and cherries look absolutely fabulous! Farmer's Markets here kind of suck I miss Michigan.


Valerie said...

Thank you for your sweet comment, Carrie. It made my morning. :)

This is the perfect guide to farmer's market shopping. Which one is this? We sometimes go to the Santa Monica FM on Main street and it's a MADHOUSE! I always have to be "up for it" to brave the crowds. Looks like you and the Chef got some great items.


Krystal said...

Oh my gosh - this was hilarious - you crack me up! I love your withering glare look!! I'm glad I found your blog!

A said...

i love the look you gave that rude guy! totally something i would do. your blog is so cute, and so are your sunglasses!

Marcie said...

I couldn't agree more. I've been to farmers markets that are complete mayhem. Running over people to get free samples is the worst and I'm shocked at how often it happens.

Great post!

Alicia said...

haha this post made me laugh!! :) I love farmers markets and peaceful Sunday mornings.

Taj Acosta said...

ugghh I need to get my bootie out to more of these here in L.A. I love buying fruit at them and taste testing! Hugs doll

Stevie said...

Ahaha The best Farmer's Market post! It's like shopping on the day after Thanksgiving.

Poppies and Sunshine said...

This is humorous and sad all at the same time! It sounds like a stressful time. I have been to some where there is way too many rude people, then I have been to a few small ones where everyone is pretty nice. I guess you never know what it will be like. Hopefully the payoff is delicious food though!

Stevie said...

The egg is with soy and white pepper. It was actually amazing but super heavy. I just entered your contest I f*ckin hope I win. I never win anything. :) Thanks again for the heads up.

Couture Carrie said...

A must read!
All so true!


P.S. Totally know what you mean about the shopbop gals... Must require incredible restraint!

SANDRA said...


you are so sweeeeet haha


blow8 said...

those strawberries look delicious!. great blog love the photographs you post

MT Days & Nights said...

Love a good farmers market!

MarchMusings said...

I was planning to check our Farmers Market this weekend but will go there now armed with your tips. Thanks. The psot made good reading!

Punctuation Mark said...

i really miss farmer's markets... in Miami in the summer it's hard to find them because it's so hot and there is very little produce... have fun!

Josie said...

Genius tips, my dear. I HAVE to start visiting farmer's markets more often; I always love going but get to them so rarely!
xo Josie

Ashley said...

Woah, now I'm terrified to go to a farmers market, lol! It sounds so ridiculously stressful! I think I'll stick to going to random country stands around where I live, they're always nice and calm and give free samples without the threat of being trampled by a crowd of crazies, lol!! :)


Tea Joeli said...

very cute blog:)


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