Food at farmers’ markets comes directly from the farm within a day of picking. No long distance shipping, no storage, no refrigeration, and no post harvest treatment to increase shelf life! Tomatoes strawberries, peaches, plums, and nectarines are all picked when they are ripe. Bottom line, vine and tree ripened fruit taste better. Be sure to notice the impressive colorful displays of in season tomatoes and other fruit.

Challenges for the Consumer and Farmer at Farmers’ Markets

First, although well worth the flavor and freshness, some products will spoil faster than store bought. Second, a number of products are seasonal, available only during certain times of the year. So the second challenge is that you will find peaches, squash, corn, heirloom tomatoes and peppers only during the summer.

For farmers, they must first organize and carry out picking operations within a day of the market. Second, not all fruit in an orchard becomes ripe at the same time. Multiple harvests of the same orchard and extra attention are required to pick the right stage of maturity and to reduce losses.