Ten Farmers Market Tips the Vendors Wish You Knew

Photo by Boulder Colorado USA, Content adapted from Jacqueline Weiss – Taste of Home

Looking for fresh produce but unsure about shopping at a farmers market? Here are the inside secrets from the vendors.

1. Take a Lap.

Walk the whole market and check out what’s there before you buy, then double back to make your purchases. You may find a booth hiding in the back that you would have otherwise missed.

2. Leave your pets at home.

The farmers market is a bustling scene where Fido and Spot can easily get stepped on. Many markets don’t allow pets and a hot car is never an option as a last minute kennel.

3. Bring cash.

While many markets utilize smartphone apps to process credit card payments, these apps generally have fees that can put a dent in the farmers’ income. Offering small bills always buys you extra gratitude!

4. Don’t negotiate.

Producing locally grown, sustainable (meaning: fair wages, diverse crops, holistic pest and weed management, organic certification, etc.) costs a little more. How farmer’s make their living should be respected, not negotiated. Instead, find ways to save money in the kitchen by buying in bulk and canning or freezing.

5. Bring a bag (or ten!).

Many vendors will have plastic bags but they certainly appreciate it if you provide your own. It’s better for the environment and easier on the farmers. Plus, we can hook you up with great recycled cotton, reusable bags Mother Nature would approve of.

6. Talk to the farmers.

Vendors always enjoy questions about their processes and products. Don’t be afraid to engage and learn about where your food is coming from. Taking the time to find vendors who closely identify with your values will help you learn who to skip next time.

7. Know what’s in season.

If you pre-plan your shopping list to only suit your menu, you might miss the best buy of the day. Don’t be afraid to go off-script and enjoy produce at it’s peak. HINT: download the ‘Colorado Farm Fresh Directory’ to see the list of seasonal foods on it’s back cover.

8. Buy more than just produce.

Farmers markets also offer fresh cuts of meat, eggs, juices, flowers, honey and so much more! Think about how you can do more of your grocery shopping to support local producers.

9. Try local specialties.

Markets are the perfect place to pick up new ingredients that you wouldn’t find at the local store. You’ll be amazed at the difference in flavor that comes from buying fresh fixings from your own neighborhood compared to what you’d find at the store.

Lastly… Know where and when to go.

The good folks at the Colorado Department of Agriculture have prepared a comprehensive guide for all things farm-fresh. Enjoy!

10 Zoom Tips to Use Right Now

Whether you’ve been using Zoom for years or you’re a newbie, there are a number of helpful tricks and hidden features you can utilize to make your screen time more tolerable.
Here are 10 ways to become a Zoom master.

  1. Change your background.
    Virtually transport yourself to ‘The Simpson’s’ living room, a desk next Dwight in ‘The Office’ or anywhere else you can imagine by customizing your background. Go to Settings > Background & Filters and select or upload the image you want from there. Watch the how-to video here. Download these fun backgrounds to get started.
  2. Turn on gallery view.
    Want to see somebody other than that guy eating a bagel? Gallery view lets you see everyone in the meeting at once, instead of just the person speaking. Go to the top right corner and click the tab that says “Gallery view”. Change it back by clicking “Speaker view” in that same top right corner.
  3. Mute your audio and turn off your camera by default.
    Keep your coworkers from seeing your bedhead or hearing your dog bark by turning off your camera and mic by default. Go to Settings > Audio > Mute microphone when joining a meeting, and then Settings > Video > Turn off my video when joining a meeting.
  4. Mute and unmute with the space bar.
    When you’re called on to speak, stop scrambling to click the microphone button. Press and hold the spacebar to quickly mute and unmute your mic.
  5. Turn on the beauty filter.
    We can all use a “little extra” every now and then. Zoom’s “Touch Up My Appearance” feature smooths over your appearance, making you look fresh and well-rested. Click the up arrow next to “Start Video”. Click “Video Settings”, and under “My Video”, check the box for “Touch Up My Appearance”. Read detailed instructions here.
  6. Share your screen for a Zoom meeting (or to watch a movie or play a game!) with other participants by clicking the “Share Screen” icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the meeting screen. You’ll have the option to share your entire desktop, or just one of the windows you have open. Click the red “Stop Share” button at the top of the screen to go back to being a normal participant in the meeting.
  7. React with emojis on screen.
    Send a thumbs up or a clapping emoji without interrupting the meeting (customize the skin tone on the Zoom desktop app). To react during a meeting, click the “Reactions” tab at the bottom of the meeting screen (it’s in the same panel as mute audio and video, to the right) and choose the one you want. The emoji will disappear after five seconds.
  8. Learn handy keyboard shortcuts.
    Zoom has a ton of helpful keyboard shortcuts to help you navigate without using your mouse. Find commands to join a meeting, start or stop recording, enter full screen and share your screen. Check out Zoom’s full list of hot keys and keyboard shortcuts here.
  9. Hide nonvideo participants.
    On a larger call, it’s likely some participants won’t have their cameras on, which can be distracting. Hide the participants who aren’t using video by going to Settings > Video > Meetings, and check “Hide nonvideo participants”.
  10. Record the meeting to your computer.
    Both free and paid Zoom subscribers can record meetings to their computer using the desktop app. To enable local recording, go to Settings > Recording, and toggle it on. When you’re hosting a Zoom meeting, click the Record icon on the bottom toolbar.
Download some fun Zoom backgrounds to perk up those boring meetings.