The One Thing I Always Buy When I Go to the Farmers Market

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Charity Burggraaf)

Farmers markets are always an embarrassment of riches. So much cheese! Local honey! Fresh bread! And all that farm-fresh produce, of course. Sometimes I’ll go with a super-long shopping list and buy up all the things. Sometimes I’ll go with no list and still buy up all the things. And sometimes I’ll leave nearly empty-handed, buying just one thing.

What’s that one thing? A bundle of flowers!

I don’t go to the farmers market every weekend (for example, I don’t go if I know we’ll be eating out and I won’t be able to put the fresh produce to good use), but whenever I do go, I always buy at least one small bundle of flowers. I know, it’s kind of a weird thing to highlight from a food-centric shopping situation. I also know that some of you are going to say you can get a better deal on flowers at, say, Trader Joe’s. And that’s true — you totally can! But I’d rather spend a little more money for a few reasons.

1. Farmers markets have better variety.

A local farmers market will almost always have more unique flowers than I can find at my grocery store. The farmers market selection is local and typically full of fun wildflowers that are just the right pretty-but-not-too-fussy look for my kitchen.

2. I like to talk to the growers.

With a real live grower at the stand, I can ask when the flowers were picked, so I’ll get the best chance of them lasting longer. I can also ask the grower directly for care instructions. Because, well, I’m not too good at

3. The fancy bouquets are prettier and usually less expensive.

While farmers market flowers aren’t especially cheap, I have found that I can get a special mixed bouquet for less money than I could at a brick-and-mortar florist. I’ll pick up a nice bouquet if I need a celebratory gift for someone, if I’m going to be a guest at a dinner party, or if I want something nice for my own kitchen table once in a while. (I deserve pretty things, too!)

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