Mother Nature wasted no time cranking up the heat after the official start of summer last week. Temperatures have soared into the 90’s with equally oppressive high humidity. It seems like only a few weeks ago we were lamenting the frigid chill of a lingering winter. Last weekend was a scorcher and the coming weekend is forecasted to be even hotter.
Here are seven tips to make your market experience in hot weather easier.
1. Leave your dog at home. We love dogs. They are welcome at all Central Farm Markets locations. However, look down at your feet at market and you’ll notice you’re standing on black top or concrete. By noon on a sunny, hot, summer day concrete can reach 150 degrees and black top temperatures can pass 160 degrees. That’s hot enough to fry an egg!
2. Bring an insulated bag or cooler. In addition to cold items, an insulated bag will help protect tender greens from wilting between the market and home. Here’s a tip. Fold several layers of newspaper to the dimension of your bag. Shop for cold products first. Cover the cold products with the paper and put fruits and vegetables on top. Newspaper is a great insulator and will help keep cold items cooler. Or you can go all out in full summer market style.
3. Protect yourself from the sun and heat. Hats, umbrellas, shades, sunscreen, and linen are all ways to ward off the ultraviolet rays of sun. For additional cooling I’ve seen everything from bandanas with cool packs to battery-operated fans on baby carriages. My personal favorite is a misting bottle with plain ol’ cold water for regular spritzing.
4. Stay hydrated. It never fails. At least once each summer someone hits the ground from dehydration during market. Vendors, customers – we all need to consume more than our usual amounts of liquids this time of the year. Mountain Valley Springwater and other drinks are available at many of the prepared food vendors. Dr. Brown with Doctors to You stresses the need to replenish electrolytes during extremely hot weather to avoid heat distress.
5. Know the signs of heat distress. Signs of heat distress include clammy skin, heavy sweating, faintness, dizziness, fatigue, rapid pulse, muscle cramps, nausea and headache. Be aware if you are experiencing any of these symptoms (or witness someone in distress) to immediately move into the shade and drink plenty of cool liquids, preferably liquids with electrolytes to replenish those lost through sweating. Dr. Brown explained that everyone reacts to heat and sun differently depending on age, health and medications. He advised, “When a person stops sweating and their skin turns red, then it’s time to call 911.”
6. Shop early. In addition to beating the high temperatures of the day, early shoppers get first pick of a fully stocked market and a good parking space. At the same time, please allow vendors to get set up and ready for business if you arrive at market prior to 9 AM.
7. Use the Market Concierge. This is the final market weekend prior to Independence Day. We’re expecting it to be not only hot as in temperatures, but hot as in busy with everyone stocking up for their Fourth-of-July celebrations. Instead of making multiple trips to a hot car that could melt zucchini, leave your purchases with a Central Farm Markets employee at the Customer Service tent who will load your car curbside.