It's no secret that Iowa is farm country. However, the farm to table movement across the country has seemed to shrink the divide between farmer and consumer as attending a farmer's market has become one of the most sought-after activities in the state. Although they are becoming more common throughout the city, these Des Moines area farmer's markets stand head and shoulders above the rest for the number of vendors, quality of goods and additional entertainment.
Downtown Des Moines Farmer's Market
If you live in Des Moines, chances are, the words "farmer's market" conjures up images of the largest of the area's kind. Open Saturdays from May through October, from 7 AM to Noon, the Downtown Farmer's Market is a collection of more than 300 vendors representing 50 counties in the state of Iowa. Consistently ranked as one of the top farmer's markets in the country, the Downtown market not only serves up some of the best produce in the state, it also highlights all that is good in the Historical Court District. Spanning nine city blocks, plan on bringing cash, taking your time, and sampling ready-to-eat goods along with live music and entertainment.
Valley Junction Farmers Market/Music in the Junction
One of the favorite things to do in west Des Moines is the weekly Valley Junction Farmers Market/Music in the Junction event. Held on Thursdays throughout the summer beginning at 4:00 pm, more than 100 vendors can be found selling a variety of fresh produce, delectable baked goods, beautiful flowers, and homemade arts and crafts. Local bands can be found gracing the main stage beginning at 6:00 pm adding a party atmosphere to a summer evening. All events are free to attend so grab your family, your friends and a picnic from the purveyors of fine foods and relax.
Waukee Farmer's Market
18 miles west of Des Moines, in the area of Waukee you will find some of the freshest produce around in a party atmosphere. Beginning the first part of June and running through the end of September, the Waukee Farmer's Market is held each Wednesday evening from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. With local musical acts gracing the main stage and more than 100 vendors selling their wares, you are sure to find local artisans, farmers and chefs who are not only interested in making a sale, but also in creating relationships with consumers. Chat up your friendly neighborhood farmer about what crops are coming into season or ask a chef how they suggest eating their product. Not only does the Waukee Farmer's Market serve as a way to get your veggies, it is also a community gathering place often lost in today's world.
One of the most popular things to do in Des Moines, farmer's markets are more than a way to buy fresh produce, meat, eggs, and poultry. They are a way to support your community. Get out and enjoy them!