Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Area Farmers Markets

Farmers Market season is just about here! Summers in Iowa rock for finding fabulous local foods. I think many people consider that only vegetarians shop at farmers markets, but the markets also have local meats, eggs, cheeses, baked goods, and, of course great local crafts and neat things like cleaning supplies and things for your pets. And  FLOWERS!

The Cedar Rapids Downtown Markets are the 1st and 3rd Saturdays in June, July, August and September. You can visit the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance website for details.

Cedar Rapids also hosts its regular City Farmers Markets at Noelridge, Green Square Park, and in the parking lot on the corner of 8th Ave and 2nd St SE from May through October; check on the schedule at the City's website.

The Uptown Marion Market happens on the 2nd Saturday of each month, June through August, in City Square Park -- coincidentally, just across the street from the library! This is one of the best little markets in the area; if you like the CR Downtown Markets, but just feel a little overwhelmed, stop at the Uptown Marion Markets for a more accessible experience. You can learn details at the Uptown Marion website.

The weekly farmers market in Marion has been dislocated for this season; the City expects to make a final decision on the 2012 location on Monday, March 26 -- I'll post a comment once I learn where it is for sure. Here is information from last year: we expect details on dates and times are still correct, though the location is not.

Hiawatha's famers market happens on Sundays from 11:00-2:00 late April through October. Check out their photos and learn more at the city's website.

For reasons to shop at your local farmers markets, and some great web links, visit the Iowa Farmers Market Association. If you want to explore other markets in metro area communities, just do a Google search for the name of your town and farmers market. (You may need to add in the word "Iowa" to narrow things down appropriately.)

All of us with Linn Area Reads hope you will support your farmers markets this coming spring, summer, and fall, and that you will enjoy experimenting with some of the wonderful local foods we have available to us during this season of plenty!

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