I don’t know about you, but I love a good Farmers Market. Offering everything from fresh lettuce to apples, broccoli to sausage, breads to bananas, and everything in between (and more!) Farmers Markets offer some of the freshest items around.
What I like even better, is visiting Farmers Markets in other locales when I travel. They are great places to stop for lunch, to buy a few items for the mini-fridge in the hotel, or to stock your vacation rental for the duration of your stay. And depending on the location and if they are indoor or outdoor markets, hours of operation may be only in season (typically April to October), or year-round.
In addition to the availability of fresh seasonal products, a great many Farmer’s Markets focus on items from local producers—often those within 100 to 150 miles of the market—while others also feature many organic producers as well. Some of the great things you can find include tomatoes, watermelon, sweet potatoes, avocados, peaches, apples, lettuces, cauliflower, herbs, asparagus, cucumbers, onions, potatoes….the list goes on.
Specialty food items are big as well, encompassing everything from pasta to jams, jellies and preserves, pesto, vinegars, sauces, baked goods, oils, honey, dehydrated foods, nuts, seasonings, syrups, meats, poultry and dairy items such as cheeses, sorbets, yogurt, ice cream and more.
In the past 10 years or so, Farmers Markets have changed to meet the needs of their customers and now also offer a bevy of personal items like aroma therapy candles, skin scrubs, body lotions, sprays, soaps, oils and perfume; beverages including flavored waters, wines and spirits; home décor including wood carvings, furniture, paintings, rugs and other floor coverings; imported and handmade jewelry; hair care products; flowers and plants – you name it and you can probably find it.
Now that I’ve whet your appetite, and your imagination, following are just a few popular Farmers Markets to enjoy along your travels.
Midtown Global Market
Billed as the Twin Cities’ premier internationally-themed public market, Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis features more than 50 independent, locally-owned businesses offering a plethora of fresh produce, baked goods, plants and flowers, meat, fish and poultry, specialty grocers, arts and crafts and a great deal more.
This is another of what I call a “culinary field trip,” as the market also features numerous delicious dining options representing cultures and ethnicities from around the world including Middle Eastern, seafood, Mexican, Scandinavian, West Indian, Vietnamese, and Minnesota fare, just to name a few.
Dallas Farmers Market
Location in downtown Dallas, the Dallas Farmers Market is a great day trip. In addition to shopping for culinary delights and items for the home, the market, one of the largest public markets of its type in the country, also offers cooking classes, workshops, annual festivals and local chef demonstrations.
Here you will find four sheds chocked full of multifarious vendors offering every kind of fruit and vegetable you can think of, in addition to a wide range of prepared foods for eating on the go. Flowers, shrubs and trees, and many bulk offerings are also part of the shopping fun here.
There are several more delicious farmer’s markets coming up.