Eat fresh: Eastern Iowa's farmers markets

Click here to see what's in season and view our interactive map

Meredith Hines-Dochterman
Published: May 2 2013 | 5:00 am - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 2:48 pm in
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Fresh produce, baked goods and live entertainment are on the agenda for Eastern Iowa’s farmers markets.

Iowa City marketgoers have a new destination this year. A Mercer Park Farmers Market replaces the Sycamore Mall Farmers Market. Market attendees can expect to see some of their favorite vendors from the Sycamore Mall market, as well as the Downtown Iowa City Farmers Market. Mercer Park’s market also will feature some first-time vendors.

Market Coordinator Emily Ambrosy says Iowa City had expressed interest in an east side farmers market for years. The new market will open Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m. in the park’s Bradford Drive parking lot. It will continue through Oct. 29.

The season kicked off in Cedar Rapids yesterday with a market at Noelridge Park and the Downtown Iowa City Farmers Market. If you didn’t make it to either market, don’t worry – there are plenty more celebrating the start of the season this weekend.

Check out our map to find the closest one near you.

Take the Farmers Market Challenge

The Gazette’s Max Freund launched the "Farmers Market Challenge" last summer as a way to highlight the versatility of local markets.

Area chefs were given $20 and one task – to purchase every major ingredient needed for a three-course meal.

Each challenge was filmed and posted on our Hoopla website.

“The result was delicious, creative and distinctly styled food to each chef’s unique tastes,” Freund wrote.

We plan to revisit the challenge this summer in a different format. Be sure to stay on the lookout for these videos!

Click here for for a recap and to watch the videos of last year’s challenge.

What's in season?

Here’s a summary of the fruits and vegetables to look for at your local farmers market. Keep in mind that exact crop availability and harvest times vary year-to-year.

May: Asparagus, lettuce, mustard greens, scallions, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, zucchini.

June: Asparagus, beans, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cherries, collard greens, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, scallions, peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, Swiss chard, zucchini.

July: Apricots, asparagus, beans, blueberries, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cherries, collard greens, cucumbers, currants, gooseberries, kale, leeks, lettuce, scallions, peas, peppers, potatoes, radishes, raspberries, rhubarb, spinach, squash, strawberries, sweet corn, Swiss chard, tomatoes, zucchini.

August: Apples, apricots, beans, blueberries, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, collard greens, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, okra, scallions, dry onions, peaches, pears, peas, peppers, plums, potatoes, radishes, raspberries, rutabaga, spinach, squash, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, watermelon, zucchini.

September: Apples, beans, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, collard greens, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, kale, kohlrabi, okra, scallions, dry onions, pears, peppers, plums, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, raspberries, rutabaga, spinach, squash, sweet corn, sweet potato, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, turnip greens, watermelon.

October: Apples, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, collard greens, eggplant, grapes, kohlrabi, scallions, dry onions, parsnips, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, raspberries, spinach, squash, sweet corn, sweet potato, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, turnip greens, watermelon.

Source: The University of Northern Iowa Food & Farm Partnership

 
 
 
 
 

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