After a winter that seemed as though it would never end, the opening of the 2018 Downtown Farmers’ Market season this weekend is even more welcome than usual.
From the first weekend of May (this year, that’s May 5) through the last weekend of October, every Saturday morning you’ll find almost 300 different vendor stands along Court Avenue and adjacent streets from Fifth Avenue (at the Polk County Courthouse) down to Water Street.
In this, the forty-third consecutive year of the market, over 20,000 people come to the market on an average Saturday; this opening weekend, that number will double to an estimated 40,000 attendees.
A comprehensive “What To Expect” article in the Des Moines Register this week reminds readers that, because of the long-lingering winter weather (see above), the slim early-season produce pickings of the first few markets will be, well, even slimmer than usual.
What will be in abundance, however, is artsy-craftsy, handmade fare, and all sorts of good baked, canned, fermented, and freshly-cooked things to eat.
About forty new vendors will join the market stands this season, and local, sustainable stand-outs include an artisanal butter-maker, a goat cheese/chèvre company, a fermented vegetable producer, and a jams-and-jellies purveyor. See the full list of newcomers, and check whether your favorite sellers from years past is back this year, on the Downtown Farmers’ Market website.
After you roam the Farmers’ Market this week, pop over to the East Village and come see us at AllSpice. We’re there until 5 pm, and will be celebrating springtime and Cinco de Mayo, and getting ready for Mothers’ Day next week!