Tomorrow marks the opening day for the 2010 season of the Des Moines Farmers Market. This Saturday morning gathering of 200 plus vendors has become an event that attracts 10,000 to 15,000 people weekly, eager to purchase fresh-picked produce, buy beautiful flowers, and snarf fresh-baked goodies. It’s a party atmosphere where you’re almost certain to run into other people you know. It’s even a tourist attraction! My sister-in-law and one of her friends are visiting this weekend from two hours away so that they can join in the festivities.
This early in the season asparagus will be at peak production, along with salad greens such as lettuce and spinach. Visitors will also be sure to find lots of annual flowers for sale as hanging baskets or bedding plants. (Need to know how many plants to buy to fill your flower bed? Try our handy bedding plant estimator that will make the calculations for you.)
Do you have a farmers market in your town? They have nearly universal appeal. The shot at left is from the Market Square (Grote Markt) in Haarlem, Netherlands. I recently stayed just a few blocks from the market, and was able to see the beautiful flowers that vendors had for sale. Here are a couple more shots of the blooms to buy. And even though I don’t speak Dutch, I was able to figure out the translation for boeket! These bouquets of gerberas, mums, freesias, and hypericum were selling for just under 5 Euros (about $6.50 at current exchange rates)—a great example of the wonderful bargains you can find at farmers markets.