Farmers’ Market season is upon us! Attending our local market is one of our family’s favorite warm-weather activities. Every Saturday morning we pack up our crew and head to the Chauncy Swan ramp in Iowa City to indulge in some fresh food and great company.
There are many reasons why attending your local farmers’ market is a valuable family activity. For starters, if you’re a fan of yummy fruits and vegetables (and who isn’t?), the produce you purchase at the farmers’ market is some of the freshest and tastiest available. Since purchasing produce from your local market eliminates long-distance shipping, you can be fairly certain the food hasn’t been sitting in storage for weeks on end. Furthermore, baked goods, preserves, and sauces are made in small batches, usually by hand. There’s no denying it: farmers’ market food is as real as it gets.
In addition, when you shop at your local farmers’ market, you’re supporting small family farms as well as local artisans and craftspeople. This is especially important for small farmers, as large agribusiness dominates food production in the U.S. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them much-needed support.
Although we love the fresh foods at our local markets, what we enjoy the most is connecting with other families in our community. The farmers’ market is a great place to bring your children, catch up with friends, and get a taste of small-town life in the midst of our wonderful community. Here are our local favorites:
Farmers’ Markets in the Iowa City area:
Iowa City Farmers’ Market
The Iowa City Farmers’ Market is operated by the Parks and Recreation Department. The Farmers’ Market runs on Wednesdays and Saturdays and is located in the Chauncey Swan Ramp at 405 E. Washington Street. The Wednesday market runs from 5 to 7 p.m., beginning May 3rd and ending on Oct. 25th, and the Saturday market runs from May 6th – October 28th from 7:30 a.m. – Noon.
Wednesdays 5 – 7 p.m. (May 3 – Oct. 25)
Saturdays 7:30 a.m. – Noon (May 6 – Oct 28)
Coralville Farmers’ Market
The Coralville Farmers’ Market operates on Monday nights from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Coralville Community Aquatic Center Parking Lot, located at 1513 7th Street. Market dates for 2017 begin on May 8th and end on October 2nd. (It should be noted that the Market will be closed on May 29, July 3rd, and September 4th.) View special dates and Farmers’ Market events here.
Mondays 5 – 7 p.m. (May 8 – Oct 2)
North Liberty Farmers’ Market (Penn Landing Market)
The North Liberty Farmers’ Market (also known as the Penn Landing Market) is the newest market in the area. The Penn Landing Market has been providing the community with fresh produce, locally made goods, and artisan crafts since 2014. The market is held every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May through October, and is located at Pacha Parkway off of Penn Street and Highway 965.
For more information on the North Liberty Farmers’ Market, be sure to follow their Facebook page.
Sundays 11 – 2 (May – October)
What are your favorite things to purchase at our local farmers’ markets?