The farmers market is best known as a place to buy high quality fruits and vegetables directly from the grower. Most farmers markets also sell eggs, bread, cheese, meat, honey, and homemade sweets. There are usually several stands selling food to eat on the spot, from popcorn and pretzels to tamales and sandwiches.
As well as food, many non-food items are also sold at farmers markets. Though not edible, non-food farmers market merchandise typically comes from the farm, too. Here are some common non-foods sold at farmers markets:
• Flowers, wreaths, and sachets
If a farm can grow vegetables, it can also grow flowers. Farmers markets often have a stand or two selling flowers for decoration. They may also have more elaborate floral items, such as dried flower wreaths or fragrant sachets.
• Medicinal herbs
Some farms grow herbs not only for cooking, but also for medicine. Herbal tinctures and teas may be available at the farmers market. Purveyors of medicinal herbs are usually very knowledgeable about which herbs to use for which ailments.
• Living plants
If you want a new plant for your house or garden, you can probably find it at the farmers market. Common houseplants and potted herbs are often sold. The herbs may double as food and decoration. If you've wanted to grow your own basil or parsley, the farmers market may present you with the opportunity.
• Soap, lotion, and other toiletries
If a farm grows herbs, it has the ingredients for all-natural personal care products. It is common to find soaps and lotions with all herbal ingredients at a farmers market. Sometimes all-natural hair care products and cosmetics are also available.
Candles are a great gift item, and all-natural candles are especially popular. At many farmers markets, you can find beeswax and soy wax candles with herbal scents. Some may have no added fragrance, making them safe for fragrance sensitive individuals.
• Holiday decorations
Christmas trees and Halloween pumpkins come from farms. It should come as no surprise that farmers markets capitalize on these holidays.
Some farmers markets offer a decent selection of Christmas trees right before Christmas. Others do not sell trees, but do offer wreaths. Come autumn, decorative gourds for Halloween and Thanksgiving are sold. Pumpkins are certainly available, both for jack o'lanterns and for eating. Harvest wreaths and cornucopia decorations can often be found at the farmers market near Thanksgiving.
• From the bees
Most farmers markets host a honey stand. Sometimes, those stands sell more than honey. Beekeepers have access not only to honey, but also to beeswax. Beeswax candles, personal care products, and other items made from beeswax may be sold by the same people who bring the honey.
Sometimes, craft booths find a home at the farmers market. They may sell anything from homemade sweaters, jewelry, and wallets to moccasins and t-shirts. Wooden crafts and toys may also make an appearance.
• Cookware and pottery
If you buy food, you have to cook it. Some enterprising farmers market vendors sell not only food, but knives and cutting boards to slice it and pans to cook it in. And in keeping with the tradition of selling crafts, ceramic pottery, for use or for decoration, may also be available.
Some farmers markets offer food almost exclusively. Others host enough non-food stalls to make the farmers market almost double as a craft fair or flea market. These are just a few of the non-food items you may find at your local farmers market.