There are some produce choices which are riskier to order on-line if you happen to haven’t constructed a trusting relationship together with your farmers’ market vendor. “Berries would be a tough one,” Mitcham says. “It’s a high-ticket item. My biggest concern with berries is decay or mold in the package.” Simply bruised fruit, like peaches and pawpaws, are riskier on-line orders. Safer bets embody apples, pears, and greens like leafy greens that may be recognized as contemporary by sight alone and are less-risky on-line orders. The upcoming autumnal cornucopia of squash, pumpkins, and rutabagas will keep contemporary for for much longer; rutabagas are so sturdy that Ithaca’s Farmers’ Market can be utilizing them as curling stones this yr.
Farmers and distributors have additionally tailored to the dearth of in-person sampling by altering how and what they promote: extra honey sticks, smaller jars of jalapeno jam, and tiny parts of olive oil to advertise at-home sampling earlier than a big-bottle dedication. “The vendors have become quite astute at explaining their product more than they might have done before,” says Steve Ridler, market supervisor of Troy Waterfront Farmers Market in upstate New York. Specialists advocate asking distributors all types of questions: Many can describe the style, aftertaste, and terroir of their merchandise in lieu of meals samples.
Typically, although, you’re going to get squashed grapes or soggy cucumbers, and McClelland needs you to see that as a constructive. “This is sometimes just the process like a local food …. It has a lower shelf life or a different shelf life. And we’re also like, you have to be attuned to seasonality. So, okay, maybe you have a disappointing experience one time. But that’s nature, you know. Sometimes it rains on your wedding day.”