Intel from Nancy Zimmerman, owner/manager, Drake Road Farmers Market.
• Mix it up: “Look for unique fruits and veggies outside of the ‘Holy Trinity’ of tomatoes, peaches and corn,” says Zimmerman. Spring brings greens and berries, summer yields apricots and okra, while apples and pears appear post-Labor Day.
• Trust your senses when choosing: Especially smell. And, Zimmerman says, a few bugs on your corn is fine—it means it probably wasn’t doused in pesticides.
• Bring a cooler: Stash your wares while you browse through those full-frontal NoCo heat assaults. When you get home, wash your produce and wrap it in paper towels. “And remember to use it!” Zimmerman says.
• Don’t fret about prices: Expect fresh homemade bread to cost about $6 a loaf and pasta around $8 per pound. Remember, hand-crafted or sustainably farmed goods are labor intensive, and you’re supporting local merchants, who put money back into our economy.