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Items like farm fresh eggs, farm-raised meats, and freshly baked goods are always in season at the Madison Farmers Market but how do you shop for produce at a producer-only market?

We share some tips and tricks for seasonal shopping in this week's Farmers Market Friday.

Plan Ahead

As a producer-only market, the only produce you will see within our market is in-season for this region. This means that while strawberries have begun their season and have just a few weeks left for most of our vendors, items like tomatoes, peppers, corn, and summer squash are still a few weeks away. Some of our vendors have structures such as a greenhouse or hoop house on their farm that can extend their growing season but in general, all of our vendors follow similar growing seasons and timelines. Knowing what you can and cannot find at a producer-only market ahead of your visit can make your trip to the market more successful!

Read up on what produce is grown in this area, when produce is in season and why it is important to eat seasonally from Purdue Extension.

Ask Questions

Our Vendors love to talk about their products whether you are curious about what products they currently have, what is in the ground and coming into season at their farms, or what they plan to grow next year. When in doubt, we always suggest taking time to speak with our vendors to learn more about their farms and what they have.

This is a major perk to shopping at a producer-only market. Our vendors grow, harvest (and in the case of honey, process) their own products. If you want to learn more about anything they are selling, they are the expert!

Additionally, our vendors use their own products in cooking so asking them how they use an item or for recipe ideas is a great way to get some tried and true suggestions.

Embrace Spontaneity

What happens when you come to the Madison Farmers Market and something catches your eye but you've already made a plan for the week? This is where we suggest you leave room for creativity in your plans. While we share a weekly market preview, there are often times a vendor goes out to harvest on market morning and finds that some new items are ready for market.

It might be a bundle of fresh herbs, a unique variety of tomatoes or beans, or something bright and colorful like garlic scapes or radishes that catch your eye. Don't be afraid to try something new!

Be sure to tell us in the comments below what your favorite in-season produce market find has been and how you've used it!

Madison (IN) Farmers Market

Summer Market Season

8 am - 12 pm


Rain or Shine - Producer Only

Madison Main Street Program

Gina Johnson

Farmers Market Manager



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