INTRO: In 2015 we interviewed one of the founders of the Cheyenne Farmer's Market, Shane Smith, about the most effective ways to shop at a farmer's market.

Smith, who was also the long-time director of the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens offered advice that is still equally valid today.

With the annual Cheyenne Farmer's Market kicking off again on Saturday August 1, we thought it might be a good time to review what Smith had to say about getting the most bang for the buck at such events.

Original Post: Shane Smith says if you want the very best quality and widest selection it's best to arrive early before the products have been picked over. On the other hand, if you're hoping to get a deal, Smith says you should take the opposite approach and do your shopping close to the end of business.  That's because by then vendors are trying to unload their remaining stock rather than taking it back home and possibly getting nothing at all for it.


Smith also says it's important to understand that just because something is on sale at a farmer's market doesn't mean it's fresh from the farm. Smith says it's not unusual for people to buy products on the wholesale market, as a grocery store does, and then set up a booth at a farmer's market, often selling at higher than grocery store prices.

Smith says it's always a good idea to ask where the food came from and how long ago it was harvested. He also recommends tasting the free samples when they are available.

He also reminds people it's important to wash off produce, especially any kind of melons, to get rid of pesticides and bacteria.

A reminder that the 2020 Cheyenne Farmer's Market has been moved to Frontier Park, where it will be held every Saturday through October 3 from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are being asked this year to wear masks and social-distance while shopping at the market.


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