• Always bring lots of small bills and change. You will be paying at each individual farmer's stand and there is no central checkout or ATM. Bring large cloth shopping bags. It will save multiple trips to your car to unload. Please try to remember to reuse the produce bags provided by the farmers.
Save them and bring them back to refill next time you come to market. This will help with the farmer’s costs and also be beneficial to the environment.
• Old baby and toddler carts make good shopping carts, and they fold up nicely in the trunk.
If you use wire folding cart, put in a box or liner or your produce will work through the wire squares.
• Make sure you know where your car keys are. The number one lost and found item are car keys. Nine times out of ten the shopper unconsciously puts the keys in one of the produce bag. Fanny packs are the best way to keep money and keys. You don't have to worry about setting a purse or a wallet down and you have both hands free to shop and carry bags.
• Please do not bring your dogs or other pets to the market. Certified Farmers' Markets are Health Department permitted food facilities and therefore dogs and other animal pets are not allowed. All exempt guide and service dogs
must be actually in service at the time and properly identified with tags in accordance with Section 54.1 and subdivision (b) of Section 54.2 of the Civil Code, and Sections 30850, 30851, and 30852 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
Smoking is also not allowed within a Certified Farmers' Market under the Health Code of California.
• When you first arrive, walk through the entire market and look at all the offerings before you buy. There are many differences in prices for the same produce type and quality.
Bargaining for small amounts is not well received. Bargaining for big boxes or great amounts is usually acceptable. Remember that these are the growers of the produce you are bargaining for. Do not insult them. They worked very hard to sell so cheap.
• Most of the produce is vine or tree ripened. This means they can be delicate to the touch. This is fruit only found direct from the grower. It is too fragile to ship to the wholesale market. Most of the produce is unsorted and field run. Some of the best tasting fruit is cosmetically challenged.
• If the farmer is not too busy, do not hesitate to ask questions about recipes or growing methods. You might even get to know each other's name.
• Have patience with the growers. They are not polished sales people, they are farmers. They were up late picking and irrigating and up early to load and drive the truck several hours to market.
If you smile at and appreciate them, you will find them smiling back and appreciating you in return. That is what certified farmers' markets are really about. Smiles and mutual appreciation. Families growing food for families. Californians supporting California.