For those who most the Iowa State Fair – one of the most exciting events on the Iowa calendar all is not lost, especially if you are in the vicinity of Iowa City.
The Iowa City Farmers market doesn’t boast a Butter Cow – but it does have a selection of some of the best and freshest produce in the state.
The market has been in existence for over 40 years – and it has been allowing farmers and small-scale producers to provide residents with fresh produce for longer then the phrase ‘organic produce’ has been around. This is true ‘farm to table produce.
It’s certainly not anywhere near the scale of the State Fair – there are around 50 dedicated stall holders. However, the amount of produce and the sheer choice available has kept those who call the City homecoming back for more again and again.
However, what used to be the premier venue for buying fresh produce has changed over the years. The offerings from stallholders have become incredibly more diverse.
Today it’s not only fruit and vegetables (including iconic corn from the region) but much more.
When it was established in the 1970’s the market was sort of grocery store for fresh produce. Shoppers would know that they were getting the best that farmers could produce – that’s still the case today. But now there are arts and crafts and food offerings as diverse as coffee, ready mad meals, meat and baked goods. Those visiting want to see and buy the best that the region has to offer – and they are being offered a wider choice than ever before.
The continued success of the market can be attributed to two distinct sets of consumers. An older more affluent set who wants to get back to the days when fresh produce was truly fresh and not sanitized for the grocery stores. The second set of consumers are a younger generation who are beginning to look back to simpler times -0 but who still are concerned with their health and supporting local agriculture and other entrepreneurs.
Whatever the reason, there seem to in doubt that this farmer’s market is going to go from strength to strength in the future. If you are near to Iowa City take some time of and visit the farmer’s market its a wonderful experience among friendly folk – one that really should not be missed.