One of my favorite times of year is in the spring when the sun comes out and farmer’s markets open for the season.

Almost every Saturday morning in the spring and summer, my husband and I grab our big farmer’s market bag and head to the best market in our city.

There we’re greeted with the best produce, dairy products, and handmade products our town has to offer.

While I would like to buy everything (and sometimes it seems like I do!) I have to limit my purchases, so I focus on a few things each time.

The best thing to buy at the market is fruit. It varies from week to week, but every week I come back with berries, peaches, melons, apples or whatever is that week’s seasonal feature. Some, like peaches and strawberries, sell out fast, so getting there early is key. I never walk away from the farmer’s market without some sort of fruit.

As far as veggies, leafy greens, tomatoes, and eggplants are my fave, but in the spring, I can’t resist sweet peas or asparagus. And once tomatoes are in season, I need an extra bag.

There’s always other treasures to be had. A good loaf of bread, maybe something sweet, maybe some cheese. These vary from week to week.

One of my absolute favorite things is to find that weird seasonal thing that you can’t buy in grocery stores, and sometimes you don’t even know what it is. I’ve brought home ramps, garlic scapes, or sunchokes. If you’re an adventurous cook, this is a must-do.

My biggest farmer’s market tip is to get there early and stay late. Early for the things that sell out and late for bargains — lots of vendors will give stuff away so they don’t have to haul it back. We make a relaxing morning of it so it’s not a chore like grocery shopping; it’s actually fun.

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