Area farmers markets open soon
By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor
The arrival of May means the opening of farmers markets. With weekly markets in Marquette, McGregor and Monona, area locals and visitors alike will have plenty of opportunities to purchase fresh, locally-grown and made products.
Marquette’s farmers market, held at the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre, opens first, on Friday, May 23. The market will be held weekly, from 4 to 7 p.m. Each market will include live entertainment, as well as products like baked goods, fresh produce (fruits and vegetables), black walnuts, honey, eggs, frozen meat, jams and jellies, wine, plants and flowers, soaps and lotions, handmade greeting cards, jewelry, bird houses and wood crafts.
With room to grow, organizer Rinda Ferguson said the farmers market welcomes new vendors.
The McGregor farmers market will be held each Friday beginning May 30, from 3 to 6 p.m., at Triangle Park. Market-goers can peruse fresh produce, home baked goods, handmade soaps, gift baskets, bird houses and much more while enjoying the musical stylings of McGregor’s Richard Palucci.
“Each year, it continues to grow,” said McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carolyn Gallagher, who organizes the market.
Gallagher said she would like to get more vendors, so interested parties can contact her at (563) 873-2186 or stop by the Chamber office.
Monona holds two farmers markets each week—Wednesdays beginning June 4, from 3 to 6 p.m., and Saturdays beginning June 7, from 8 to 11 a.m. Held in the city’s Gateway Park, people can check out fresh vegetables, a variety of baked goods and wood crafts.
Becky Fuelling, who has taken the reins for this year’s markets, said she is also open to new vendors, to add variety. Just make sure products are locally-grown or made. She can be contacted at (563) 539-2339.
Farmers market organizers stressed the importance of the markets to area communities.
“In grocery stores, produce is shipped,” Fuelling said, explaining that freshness can become an issue. “It’s good to support local markets because it’s a better product. There are fewer to no pesticides used.”
Gallagher said shopping at the market is also convenient.
“A lot of people can’t get out of town, so then they can just walk there and see if they have what they need,” she said. “It also brings people out into our beautiful downtown, to see what’s going on in the community.”
“A farmers market can be an important anchor for the community,” added Ferguson. “You can meet and support your local farmer, catch up with friends and neighbors, and it’s a great way to get kids involved.”