Why Farmers Markets make the Perfect First Date

Farmers market color.

A little market color.

Everyone knows that farmers markets are supposed to be the perfect setting for a first date. Check out any Top Ten dating list, and ‘Farmers Markets’ are right up there with ‘It’s Just Lunch’ and ‘Let’s Grab a Coffee.’ If you believe all the hype, you might think farmers markets were created just so starry-eyed couples could fall head over heels in love.

Easy peasy, right? But not so fast. What these lists never tell you is why farmers markets make such a great first date. They just point you to your local market, turn you loose amongst the broccoli and cauliflower, and assume that “magic” will ensue.

As someone who has watched innumerable first dates from across my market table (you guys are easy to spot!), take my word for it: cultivating romance at farmers market is no sure thing. So here—in the name of love—are 5 insider tips for ‘Farmers Market First Date Success’ that I’ve gleaned over the years.

1) It All Starts With Preparation. A perfect first date starts with planning. And when it comes to farmers markets, I’m talking weeks (or even months) in advance. What’s in season this time of year? Which farmer has the crispest apples? Which baker brings the flakiest croissants? You’ve got to do your research—and this means flying solo for a while—if you ever hope to make a great first impression. And first impressions matter, right? So don’t be the person who asks for tomatoes in the middle February… that’s a universal deal breaker.

Every flame starts with a simple spark. Just no infernos at market, please.

Every flame starts with a simple spark. Just no raging infernos at market, please.

2) Great Relationships Require Great Communication. Everybody has first date jitters; it’s only natural. So here’s a million dollar tip: talk to your farmers, get to know them, and hone your communication skills. This way even if you have butterflies before your first date, you’ll recognize plenty of familiar faces as you navigate your way through market. By meeting your farmer weeks ahead of time, you not only practice your speaking skills, you make yourself feel more at home in your local market.

“Ain’t no thang, just chillin with my farmer homies!” You can now say this and totally get away with it… as long as you use outrageous hand gestures. Style points count, people.

3) Boring people get bored. Variety is the spice of life, and farmers markets are the perfect place to experiment with new flavors. Nobody wants to be boring. Expand your horizons, and buy a vegetable you’ve never eaten—or even heard of—before. Kohl rabi anyone? How about some pak choi sauteed in olive oil? If you’re going to impress your date, speak the farmers market language: know the terrain as well as the terroir.

4) Actually go on a date. Wait a minute, how can this be so far down the list? Remember the headline: this isn’t just any first date. It’s the Perfect First Date.

You can pick a peck of peppers, but don't pepper a peck of pickers... it's bad first date etiquette.

As cool as it may seem, saying “pick a peck of peppers, don’t pepper packs of pickers” 3 times fast will NEVER impress your date.

Gentlemen, don’t pull a Bruno Mars. Buy her flowers, and be her man. Better yet, give the moment a little extra pizzaz. Since you’ve already gotten to know the farmer (right?), you can subtlely mention why these flowers only grow this time of year, and only in this region. But before you start showing off too much, take her to find some Green Zebra tomatoes.

Ladies, you don’t get a free pass either. Buy him a package of bacon from the organic livestock farmer, and tell him why Berkshire pigs marble so much more evenly than Yorkshires. Oh, and while you’re at it, suggest visiting the farm in a few weeks to see the animals in person. Road trip anyone?

5) Plan the perfect dinner together. Plan the perfect dinner? But wasn’t this just a “farmers market first date”?

[Pause]. Wait a minute… did you just land me a second date?

Just doing my job folks (wink wink), no thanks necessary. See you next week at farmers market!

 

http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780762787258

Hailed as “the most important food book since The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” and named a Top Read by NPR and The Washington Post. CLICK HERE

 
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Forrest Pritchard

Forrest has been farming professionally since 1996. His new book The Face of Our Farms: 18 Extraordinary Farmers and Their 50 Favorite Recipes will be published Summer 2015 by Lyons Press.

10 responses to “Why Farmers Markets make the Perfect First Date”

  1. Charlotte Johnson Jones

    Love this, Forrest Pritchard. Great post with sass and class. Congratulations on your new book and your success with Smith Meadows. From a neighbor in Fredericksburg.

  2. woolfarmgal

    Excellent advise for those looking for love. Can’t get a more wholesome start to a relationship then at a well chosen farmer’s market. While I met my hubby in a gym, our love blossomed while working together building our farm. We discovered we make a great fence building team and our skills are well matched when time to work on the sheep and goats. Kevin catches, I hoof trim and vaccinate. Anyway, enjoying a farm’s blessings is rich soil to harvest love. Enjoying your book immensely.

  3. hopefarms

    Actually, this is a great idea. You might approach _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . com with a marketing proposal and put something in the works….just sayin’.

    What a way to find out about some fundamental alignment, anyway, when it comes to food, shopping habits, finances, and knowledge about agriculture – fun post!

  4. Lisa DiConsiglio

    This is hysterical. Looking forward to seeing you Sunday for your book signing at Westover Farmers Market.

  5. thisfarmwife

    Thanks for the laugh. I must share this on our farms facebook page. You had me at the well marbled Berkshires :)

  6. Jenelle

    Love everything about this post, Forrest! Couldn’t help but give it a shout out on the Arlington Farmers’ Market’s blog this week http://bit.ly/15LQHTD. Maybe you should suggest the Washington Post do a special Date Lab at a farmers’ market!

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