Yesterday officially brought the northern hemisphere into autumn, with the hope of cooler temperatures and better weather ahead. Cities and towns across the United States are wrapping up their harvesting seasons and hosting fall farmers markets and craft festivals. As a disabled, chronically ill person, I am always on the hunt for accessible ways to celebrate the seasons. I find that local farmers markets are usually a pretty safe bet. Below are some ways to optimize your next farmers market visit.
See if your local farmers market has a website
Most local farmers markets or fall festivals have some sort of online presence. Check out their website or social media to see the setup and grounds. This will give you a good idea of the accessibility of the market or festival for those of you that have limited mobility. If an event’s website doesn’t offer information, you may want to contact them to determine things like parking and other accessibility needs. You can also see food options as well as shopping options so you can best prepare for any dietary needs. Larger farmers markets and fall festivals also provide information about restroom facilities so you can make sure that you have accessible restrooms to use when needed.
Plan for rain, hope for sunshine
This time of year, depending on where you are located, can be hit or miss with weather. Sometimes it is hot, sometimes it rains, or it may even be snowy. In order for you to be at your most comfortable, check the weather ahead of time and pack anything you might need to help you in case of changes in temperature or weather. Some folks struggle in the heat, and sometimes rain or cool temperatures make joint problems worse. Planning ahead will ensure you have what you need with you no matter what!
Check out recipes ahead of time
My favorite part of a farmers market or fall festival are the autumn vegetables that are local and fresh. Especially for those of you with dietary restrictions, knowing what you want to make will help you choose vegetables that won’t just go bad in your fridge or pantry (I may be calling myself out here!). You can also get some delicious seasonal treats that can help you celebrate the season- check out the website or social media of your local favorites for more information on that.
Looking for recipe inspiration? Taste of Home offers a selection of fall farmers market recipes at https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/fall-farmers-market-recipes/
Consider getting a rolling grocery cart
One of my favorite things to bring to any farmers market is a rolling grocery cart. I am able to buy what I need and want without having to worry about carrying it with me. At your local fall festival, most rolling carts will also allow you to buy any crafts or trinkets without limiting what you are able to carry. This is a great way to conserve stamina and strength and still enjoy your experience.
Don’t have a rolling grocery cart? Consider this one.
Bring seating, hydration, and more
This is especially for your fall festival, but if you plan on spending a big chunk of your day enjoying your local market or fair, consider bringing your own seat and snacks/hydration. Some festivals may limit what you are allowed to bring in with you, so check ahead of time to plan accordingly. Most farmers markets allow for you to bring your own food and drink, but their website or social media will most likely tell you that information. Hats for sun, gloves for the cold, or boots for the rain may also be necessary options.
The fall season can be so enjoyable when you know what to plan for. If you are looking for an accessible festival or market in your area, let us at The Chronic Concierge help you find one and plan for your visit. We will customize your itinerary to meet your specific needs. Have a wonderful time at your next fall farmers market or fall festival!