Extended daylight hours, warm weather, no homework and the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables are some of the best parts of summer. While we can’t guarantee perfect temperatures from mother nature, finding vine ripened tomatoes, juicy peaches and succulent squash at a local farmer’s market is pretty much a sure thing.
One of the most popular destinations for fresh produce is Soulard Farmer’s Market. Founded in 1779, this historic gem is one of the largest and oldest markets west of the Mississippi.
Inside you’ll find dozens of vendors selling produce, meat, fish, mini doughnuts, fragrant spices, fresh flowers and clothing. Pick up a new furry friend at Frandeka Feed and Pet Shop or cool down with a sno cone or ice cold beer from Joyce’s Corner. Admission to Soulard Market is free, and the people watching is priceless.
Historic Soulard Farmer’s Market • 730 Carroll Street • Open Wednesday and Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. year round
• Medical schools are a place of health and healing, so it’s no surprise that Washington University Medical Center has it’s own supply of fresh produce. Located in the Plaza outside of the School of Medicine bookstore, the Farmers Market at the Washington University Medical Center features seasonal fruits and vegetables, trail mix, cheeses, honey, olive oil, whole wheat breads and yogurt by Veggie Boy Produce, Grandma’s Nuts, Traveling Tea, Olove Oil, Great Harvest Bread Company, Baetje Farms and other great vendors.
The Farmers Market at the Washington University Medical Center • Located outside of the School of Medicine bookstore • Thursdays • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Schlafly Bottleworks not only produces award-winning suds and delicious food, it’s also one of the few breweries in the United States to host a farmers market. Every Wednesday evening during summer months you can buy local farm fresh eggs, pork, lamb, beef, herbs, mushrooms, artisanal loaves, flowers, pasta, and chocolate straight from the source at the Schafly’s Farmers Market. This year’s vendors include Three Rivers Community Farm, Farrar Out Farm, Art House Coffees, MOFU Soy Beanery and more. While you’re checking off your grocery list, enjoy live music on the patio, local Schlafly beer, and tours of the Bottleworks Brewhouse.
Schafly's Farmers Market • Located in the parking lot of Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood • Wednesdays • 4 to 7 p.m.
• Up in NoCo, the award-winning Ferguson Farmers’ Market is celebrating its tenth delicious season this summer. All of the produce is picked 24 hours within selling it at the market. Besides fresh fruits and veggies, market goers can purchase homemade jelly, farm fresh eggs, nuts, honey, spices, organic meats, hand-painted artwork, small-batch soaps and more.
Ferguson Farmers Market • 20 South Florissant Rd. • Saturdays • 8 a.m. to noon
• Locavores will love perusing all of the home-grown, homemade and hand-crafted wares at the Clayton Farmers Market. Located on the Brown Shoe parking lot, this market spotlights organic and naturally produced foods. Vendors include eco-friendly Silent Oaks Farm, Kamp's Peach Orchards, Riverbend Roots Farm, Manzo Sausage Kitchen & Market, Stinger's Honey and more.
Clayton Farmers Market • 8282 Forsyth Blvd. • Saturdays • 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Another popular destination is the Tower Grove Farmers Market. Market founders pride themselves on promoting sustainable, local agriculture and urban education. Along with the usual fare, you'll find artisan breads, cupcakes, locally roasted coffee, organic meats, eggs, honey and even gelato. For an uplifting start to your morning get there by 9 a.m. for the free yoga on the lawn next to the market.
• Tower Grove Farmers Market • In Tower Grove Park west of the Whitake Theater at the Pool Pavilion • Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon.
Where is your favorite farmers market? Let us know which ones deserve a mention.
By Andrea Wilson, Events Blogger for SmartParenting