The Davidson Farmer's Market

I love farmer's markets. The Davidson Farmer's Market, which is located behind Summit on Main Street, is only open on Saturdays between 8am-12pm, but it's definitely worth the trip.

Tip #1: Get there before noon, and yes, 11:30 counts!

I was able to drag myself out of bed and arrive at the market right around 11:30, but much to my surprise, there were still tons of people there, although vendors were just starting to pack up their produce/goods. I'm so glad I did because there were so many sights and smells!

Tip 2: If you forget to bring cash, many vendors do accept cards!

Imagine running late to the Farmer's Market only to discover you don't have any cash on you. I took a chance and started walking around anyway, and much to my surprise, many vendors use the "Square card" which allows for on-the-spot credit/debit card usage. Not all have these fancy card readers though, so make sure to bring cash just in case (or go to any of the several ATMs on Main Street)!

Tip 3: Talk to people!

Honestly, the best part about farmer's markets is all of the interactions you have with strangers. Everyone is interested in what you're buying, what you're going to make with it, and how you're going to make it. There were so many helpful comments and recipe ideas thrown around -- who knew grilled tomatoes were a thing?

Tip #4: Farmer's markets may not be as expensive as you think.

When you're cooking for one, you only need a few ingredients; I was able to get a few tomatoes and an eggplant for only $3.50! The Davidson Farmer's Market participates in the SNAP/EBT program that helps make fresh food more affordable to those who qualify.

Tip #5: Get as much free food as possible!

Be on the lookout for samples, because they are usually amazing. One weekend, there was butternut squash soup and grilled sweet potato samples. Let's just say I had my fair share of helpings!

Tip 6: Don't go crazy and buy too many veggies.

They will go bad faster since there aren't as many preservatives being used on the produce.

Tip 7: Stop and smell the flowers!

I was wondering why there were so many people with bouquets of flowers, but then I realized some of the prettiest bunches were as cheap as $10.00! You should definitely treat yourself (or someone else) to a nice bouquet of flowers if you have the chance.

Tip 8: Indulge in some prepared goods!

King of Pops is one of the only sure things in my life. I know whenever I see a King of Pops logo that I will get one. I also know that every single flavor is delicious. My personal fave = Thai Tea! Side note: my friends and I think there's some conspiracy, but every single guy that works at these stands is always relatively attractive. Definitely adds incentive to the purchase!

Tip #9: When you're done at the market, take some time to explore food and shopping options on Main Street.

I know, I know- we all have work to do. But, nothing beats having a nice brunch with friends after a leisurely shop around the Farmer's Market! Many Davidson students are now conditioned to think that Main Street is "far," so when you're already out there, you might as well peek around and see what is new. I had lunch at the Millstone Bake House and Provisions and I had #noregrets! I had a mix of their Passionfruit lemonade and Green Tea...yum!

Tip #10: Just go!

You may have had a long night Friday, you may have a ton of work to do, you may have a tight budget -- but honestly, just go. It's a great way to get some sunlight and human interaction before posting up in the library all day. It's also a nice way to just get off campus for an hour and get a little bit out of the Davidson bubble.