Local Harvest

June 24, 2008 at 2:21 am | Posted in Etcetra | 1 Comment

One of the perks on living in the Midwest are the farmer’s markets, the often overlooked advantages of fresh, environmentally sustainable food within anyone’s budget.  And while I used to think everyone knew about the historic treasures like Soulard Market, like so many places in the big small town of Saint Louis, our farmer’s markets go without mentioning from those among us (including this writer) who take such places for granted.  So if you’re looking to save some green or save some money this harvest season, here are a few favorite farm-fresh grocers worth your consumption:

  • Tower Grove Farmers’ Market will keep you in season and in budget.  With local events (and music) and local prepared food on top of the produce, a visit every Saturday from 8:30 am until 12:30 pm inside this crown-jewel of St. Louis Parks will yield not just crops but a new experience with every visit.  And if you can’t make it this weekend be sure to check out close-by Local Harvest Grocery, who have recently expanded their Saturday hours and selection for your everyday market if you’re in the neighborhood.
  • Soulard Market is better known, has the largest selection, and is probably the most scenic venue for local produce (and some trucked in).  It’s open weekdays from 8am-5pm, although a visit on Saturday mornings between 6am-5pm is a popular visit for locals and tourists alike (bring a camera).  They accept food stamps (so you know it’s affordable), but you’ll want to bring cash if you like to haggle for the freshest prices for the fresh food.
  • North City Farmers’ Market is new (fresh by another name), but blossoming in it’s second year.  Located in Crown Square (near the old 14th Street Mall) across from local legend Crown Candy, this newest fixture in a classic locale is set to restore historic business models in a setting where historic places are being restored.  Naturally the newest part is the food, which is worth a visit alone.
  • Kirkwood Farmers’ Market is also open for business 6 days a week, and features a mix of local and seasonal produce.  Located in downtown Kirkwood along the rail lines, it could easily fit into your day trip this weekend without hitting hog country.
  • In South County you ought to know about Sappington Farmers Market already.  Although it looks on the outside like a modern supermarket, it’s actually small family farmers owned and operated store. And they’ll have the rest of your shopping list in the store as well, 7 days a week!
  • In North County the Ferguson Farmer Market has you covered.  It should be open from 8am-noon with everything fresh and in your budget.  Try it out this year.
  • Every Wednesday from 4-7pm there is farmers’ market in Maplewood in the parking lot of the Schlafly Bottleworks.  We hear there’s entertainment, local artists, and crafts from local sources alongside the produce from the ground up.  And maybe even a few lessons on how to gros thing in your own backyard.
  • In West County a farmers’ market has closed, and another one is opening in Wildwood.  Your best bet is to stick with the old market at Gilberg’s Perrenial Farms off Highway T, as in try out local produce.
  • But if your looking for something even more fresh, why not pick your own produce at Eckerts Orchard in Illinois.  We have the details in a post from last harvest season, but you’ll want to write your own story with a visit this summer.

And of course look for a produce stand along your drive down Highway 61, or any other local road, as your summer moves along a detour through the intersection of your life and Saint Louis.

(Thanks to Jo and Ann Pollack of St. Louis Eats and Drinks for the tips in this story)

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1 Comment

  1. I love Sappington market. I haven’t been in a while, but they also have a nice organic selection and some great deals you won’t get at Whole Foods.


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