We’re pretty anti-tote bag when it comes to trips to the farmers market. Yes, we know totes are synonymous with farmers markets, but they shouldn’t be!
Why not? A tote bag typically lacks structure — it’s just a floppy jumble of fabric that’s impossible to keep open. Just think back to the last time you bought lettuce and how annoying it was to actually get it inside that tote bag of yours! Plus, there are no compartments in tote bags and all your goods fall to the bottom, crushing the tomatoes, which you didn’t mean to buy first but totally did by accident. And you have to constantly push the straps back up on your shoulder or throw the whole bag behind your back when you want to reach for something (or else your bag will crash into the table). This is no way to shop, you guys!
We really recommend backpacks for farmers markets, but if the experience just doesn’t feel right to you without a tote bag, we get it. And we can’t blame you. However, we can suggest a better tote. Something that blows the tote you currently use out of the water.
Related: Dump Your Tote! Get a Better Bag for the Farmers Market.
Introducing our favorite farmers market tote: the Garden Bag, which is just as handy at a farmers market as it is in the garden. And it’s as functional as it is pretty. There are a few reasons we’re so obsessed with it. Let us explain.
Buy: Garden Bag, from $78 at Apolis
1. It has pockets.
Six! Six exterior pockets! That means there’s a pocket for every tomato you need to get! You can give delicate produce (or even glass bottles) their own little home and you don’t have to worry about them falling to the bottom of your bag and getting crushed, bruised, or broken.
2. There’s a waterproof lining.
Jute on the outside + waterproof lining on the inside = a perfect combo. This makes it super easy to wipe up spills, clean up dirt, and rinse out your bag as often as necessary.
3. The bag is pretty rigid.
You can actually put this bag down and it won’t tumble over, spilling its contents. It holds its shape and can stand on its own whether it’s full or not. And because it’s decently rigid, you can easily slide in that bag of lettuce we were talking about earlier.
If you’re concerned about the price tag (especially if you have a free tote bag that you got from your neighbor’s recent fundraiser or wherever), consider this: The more you buy, the less expensive they get. Convince two friends to go in on it with you and the price goes down to less than $59 each. It’s still an investment, but trust us — it’s worth it.
What do you use to carry your farmers market bounty home?