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Amy Umble writes about family issues and kid-friendly events.

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Five for Friday: Getting the most from the Farmers Market

Welcome to Five for Friday, a new feature offering tips for your family. If you have tips on a family-friendly topic, please send them to aumble@freelancestar.com.

And please let me know how your family makes the most of area farmers markets–comment below or email me.

Today’s tips come from Vanessa Griffin, who runs the North Stafford Farmers Market. She offers these tips for making the most of your trip to the market:

1. ARRIVE EARLY: When you first arrive at the market, we recommend that you take a look at all the vendors. This allows you to see what is being offered so that you are able to decide what is the best produce and other delicacies to purchase this week. It is very beneficial to arrive early to the market so that you can buy the freshest goods before they sell out!

2. GET TO KNOW THE VENDORS: Each vendor brings a passionate personality to the market. By getting to know your vendors, they are better able to serve your individual needs. Many vendors have appetizing samples to draw you in as well as demos to show you the process that goes into their goods.

3. KNOW THE SEASONAL PRODUCE: With the 125 mile radius policy of the market, we bring you the freshest produce the area has to offer. Due to this fact, it is important to know what vegetables and fruit are in season during certain times of the year. With the cold spring that we have had this year, many of the different produce will be ready to be harvested a few weeks later than normal.

4. COME HUNGRY: We have three marvelous food trucks on site which serve delicious comfort foods such as corn dogs, fried Mac and cheese and fries as well as tasty Italian food. With an assortment of foods for kids including mini corn dogs, funnel cakes and heavenly ice cream. This truly is an environment that everyone can find something to enjoy.

5. FOLLOW US ONLINE: We post updates and events on our website (www.ns-fm.com) as well as on Facebook (North Stafford Farmers Market) regularly. Follow us so that you will get up-to-date announcements on special vendors, not-for-profits and free events that are provided.

The North Stafford Farmers Market has a lot to offer for the whole family and we invite you to come check us out every Sunday from 8am-2pm through the end of October at the Stafford Hospital Medical Pavilion.

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