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Riverside Casino bets on farmers market

   Riverside Casino leaders are betting everyone wins at a new endeavor the casino has launched. Farmers market vendors will be hawking produce, crafts and baked goods in the casino’s parking lot once a month through September.

    Veggies and slots might not be synonymous, but public relations director Sharon Haselhoff sees the market as an added draw for people coming to dine, stay or gamble at Riverside Casino & Golf Resort. “It’s just one more thing that we could add to bring people here, for local residents and our guests staying here,” she said.

    Vendors — about 40 are slated to be there Sunday, June 28, 2009, — also have another opportunity to sell local products. While most markets charge stall fees, vendors only have to register to sell at the casino. Haselhoff said Sunday was chosen so the market would not compete with those in Iowa City or other nearby communities other days of the week. Riverside does not have a farmers market, she noted.

    In addition to this Sunday, markets are scheduled July 26, Aug. 30 and Sept. 27, all from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors can contact Jessica Athen at (319) 648-1234, extension 1975, to register for the Riverside Casino farmers market.

For more on this story, see the Saturday, June 27, 2009, edition of The Gazette.

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Farmers Market season begins

Perennials for sale by Betty Decker at Hiawatha Farmers Market

Perennials for sale by Betty Decker at Hiawatha Farmers Market

 As of this afternoon (Friday, May 1, 2009), the Cedar Rapids farmers market season will begin. The schedule apparently has caused some confusion. This might be the reason:  There’s the Noelridge Park market, which begins at the same time and place as usual. Then there is the market in the city parking lot on Eighth Avenue SE, which was relocated after last year’s flood and is almost, but not quite the same otherwise as last year, and one in Greene Square Park that replaces one day of the Eighth Avenue markets, but only from June through August. And then there is the large-scale Downtown Farmers Markets, which is only on certain days throughout the season and preempts the Eighth Avenue market on those Saturdays. Pretty simple.

   I was at the Hiawatha Farmers Market on Sunday. If you haven’t been to that one, it’s worth your while to go, not only because it’s one of few markets on Sundays, but they offer great produce, plants, baked goods, organic meat and more. That’s where I shot the photo, above, of perennials for sale by Betty Decker, from Decker’s Hobbies in Walker. Look for more photos from the Hiawatha market and a “clip and save” listing of area farmers markets in the Sunday, May 3, Gazette. It’s in the Money section, in its new location behind the sports pages.

   You can find all of those markets under the Linn County heading in the farmers market category on this blog, plus many others. New this year is a farmers market in Shellsburg and the Downtown Farmers Market in Cedar Rapids (the big one that’s just on certain days) has some new additions, too. This is from Quinn Pettifer, from the Cedar Rapids Downtown District:

   New features this season include open mic sessions, a Green Space sponsorship and recycling program, and a pet policy offering guidelines for patrons that bring their pets to the market. The pet policy includes a maximum 4 foot leash requirement, as well as basic health and social interaction guidelines.  Another noteworthy addition to this season includes the acceptance of WIC checks by those vendors participating in both the City and Downtown Farmers’ Markets. The WIC approval process was led by Representative Tyler Olson who took the initiative to Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey for special approval.  

    Quinn also notes that 4th Avenue and 5 Seasons Parkades will be free and open to the public, with additional on street parking available. Handicapped accessible parking will be available in the True North Parking lot along 5th Street SE.  The market (remember, this is the large, downtown one) will be in a slightly different location than it was last year after the flood. It will be along 3rd and 4th Avenues to include 2nd and 3rd Streets SE and Greene Square Park.   

That market is on June 6, June 20, July 18, August 1, August 15, September 5, and October 3. Entertainment for the June 6 market includes Pan-Delirium Steel Drum Band, Theatre Cedar Rapids, MOvMNT, Library Story Time, Iowa Children’s Museum activities, a roaming wine tasting, cooking demonstration, and street entertainment from Mark Brown and Junk Funk.

     Bob Shepherd also sent some info (as well as the photo below) about the Washington Farmers Market, which begins Thursday, May 14th:  The market starts at 5pm each Thursday evening and closes at 7:30pm. Growers, bakers, and artists set up their displays in downtown Central Park, under the tall shade trees, along the new sidewalks leading to the Memorial Fountain. Vendors number from 20 in the spring to 45 during the summer as produce reaches its peak maturity. We are a certified Iowa Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program market with a number of eligible growers. Starting in June, ‘Thursday Night Live’, offers entertainment from 6:30pm to 7:30pm, local artists including; Catfish Keith, Patrick Hazell, suzuki strings, dance studios and the Richland Old Time String Band to name a few, perform on the Washington Bandstand. The Washington Muni Band follows with rousing concerts from 8pm to 9pm. Such is the usual fare in downtown Washington on Thursday evenings throughout the summer. Special Market events include; the12th annual Smoker/BB-Q/Grill Challenge on the Thursday following Fathers Day June 25th , The 11th annual Tasters’ Choice Salsa Contest will be September 3rd the Thursday before Labor Day.

    Duane Randall, Director of Parks & Recreation in Vinton, sent information about the Peal or No Peal night and other fun stuff going on at the Vinton Farmers Market this summer. You can find more info and photos on that market at: www.vprdzone.com

Customers snatch up baked goods at the Washington (Iowa) Farmers Market last summer. Photo by Bob Shepherd

Customers snatch up baked goods at the Washington (Iowa) Farmers Market last summer. Photo by Bob Shepherd

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2009 Farmers Market list

Following are some of the seasonal farmers markets that operate in Eastern Iowa in 2009. If you have updates to this list, add a comment below, or send an email to: cindy.hadish@gazcomm.com

For more information, see the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Web site at: www.iowaagriculture.gov/iowaProducts.asp

Allamakee County

   Allamakee Farmers Market, 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays, June 1 through Oct. 5, Allamakee County Fairgrounds, Waukon, contact Teresa Wiemerslage, (563) 568-6345.

   Harpers Ferry, 5 to 7 p.m. Fridays, June 5 to Oct. 2, at Bluffview Park, contact Connie Benedict, (563) 586-2297.

Benton County

   Belle Plaine Farmers Market, 5 to 7 p.m. Fridays; May 29 through Sept. 25, 13th Street and Sixth Avenue, west of the Pizza Hut, contact Becky Poduska, (641) 489-2107.

   Urbana Farmers Market, 9 to 11 a.m. Saturdays, May 23 through Oct. 31, Legion Pavilion on Wood Street, contact Eileen Schmidt, (319) 443-5620.

   Shellsburg Farmers Market, 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, May 13 through October 14, city park on Sells Street, contact Joyce Pence, (319) 389-8714.

   Vinton Farmers Market, 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, June 4 through Sept. 24, BCHS Railroad Depot, 612 Second Ave., contact Duane Randall, (319) 472-4164.

   Youngville Cafe Farmers Market, 3:30 to 6 p.m. Fridays, May 29 through Oct 16, junction of highways 30 and 218, contact Richard Grovert, (319) 223-5465.

Cedar County

   Cedar County Farmers Market, 7:30 to 11 a.m. Saturdays, May 16 through Oct. 3, south side of the county courthouse in Tipton, contact Yvonne Gregory, (563) 946-3551, or Evelyn Walshire (563) 432-6983.

   Mechanicsville Farmers Market, 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, May 26 through Sept. 29, on Main Street across from the fire station, contact Linda Coppess, (563) 432-7756, or Evelyn Walshire, (563) 432-6983.

Clayton County

  Guttenberg Farmers Market, 8 to 11:30 a.m., Saturdays, May 30 through Sept. 26, 400 S. block of the park in downtown Guttenberg, contact Tara Dykhuizen, (563) 252-2323.

 Dubuque County

   Dyersville Farmers Market, 2:30 to 6 p.m., Thursdays, May 21 through Oct. 8, Commercial Club Park, contact Karla Thompson, (563) 875-2311.

Iowa County

   Amana Farmers Market, 4-8 p.m. Fridays, May 29 through Sept. 4, in midtown Amana. Contact Amana Farmers Market, (319) 551-4464.

   Williamsburg Farmers Market, 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays, May 8 through early October, at the northeast corner of the downtown park, contact Elaine Wardenburg, (319) 668-1288.

Johnson County

   Coralville Farmers Market, 5 to 8 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, May 4 through Oct. 1, in the parking lot at the Coralville Community Aquatic Center, 1513 Seventh Street, contact Matt Hibbard, (319) 248-1750.

   Iowa City Farmers Market, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 7:30 to noon Saturdays, May 2 through Oct. 31, on lower level of Chauncey Swan parking ramp between Washington and College streets, contact Tammy Neumann, (319) 356-5110.

   Sycamore Mall Farmers Market, 3 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, May 5 through Oct 27, in the parking lot at the theater end (west end) of the mall, 1600 Sycamore St., Iowa City, contact Candy Norris, (319) 338-6111.

Linn County

   Noelridge Farmers Market in Cedar Rapids, 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, May 1 through Oct. 23, corner of Collins Road and Council Street NE, contact Teresa White, (319) 286-5699.

   City parking lot at Eighth Avenue and Second Street SE in Cedar Rapids, 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays, (except during the Downtown Markets) and 4-6 p.m. Tuesdays, May 2 through Oct. 24. New Greene Square Park market will be 4-6 p.m. Thursdays from June 11 through Aug. 27, contact Teresa White, (319) 286-5699.

   Downtown Farmers Market in Cedar Rapids, 7:30 a.m. to noon on June 6 and 20; July 18; Aug. 1 and 15; Sept. 5 and Oct. 3, contact Jill Wilkins, (319) 398-0449.

   Central City Farmers Market, 4 to 6 p.m. Thursdays, May 21 through Sept. 24, Courtyard Park on South Fifth Street, contact Central City Mainstreet office, (319) 438-1761.

   Hiawatha Farmers Market, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays, April 19 through Oct. 25, in the Guthridge Park parking lot at 10th Avenue, contact Angie Cole, (319) 393-1515.

   Marion Farmers Market, 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 to 11:30 a.m. Saturdays; May 2 through Sept. 26, at the East End Shopping Center, 3375 Seventh Ave., contact Pat Carlson, (319) 377-4846, e-mail pcarlson@cityofmarion.org

   Mount Vernon Farmers Market, 4 to 6 p.m. Thursdays, May 7 through Oct. 8, at Mount Vernon Visitors Center, 311 First St. W, contact David or Mickey Miller, (319) 310-6399.

   Springville Farmers Market, 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, June 2 through Aug. 25, at Cox Lake Pavilion, contact Lena Gilbert, (319) 854-7097.

Tama County

   Toledo Farmers Market, 5 to 7 p.m., Fridays, May 1 through Oct. 30, on the east side of the courthouse square, contact Dawn Kupka, (641) 691-9710.

   Traer Farmers Market, 4 to 6 p.m., Wednesdays, May 6 through Oct. 28, at the junction of highways 8 and 63 in Traer, contact Marlus Svoboda, (319) 479-2279.

Washington County

   Kalona Farmers Market, 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays, April 25 through mid-October, corner of C Avenue and Fifth Street, Kalona; Laurie Coffman, (319) 656-5252.

   Riverside Casino Farmers Market,  10 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 28; July 26, Aug. 30 and Sept. 27,  parking lot of Riverside Casino & Golf Resort; contact Jessica Athen, (319) 648-1234, extension 1975.

   Washington Farmers Market, 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, May 14 through Oct. 29, at Downtown Central Park at Washington Street and Iowa Avenue; contact Bob Shepherd, (319) 653-4888.

Winneshiek County

   Winneshiek Farmers Market, 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 to 11 a.m. Saturdays; May 2 through Oct. 31 (no market July 25); at the Municipal parking lot at Heivly Street and Claiborne Drive in Decorah; contact Steve McCarger (563) 382-2451.

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A move for Cedar Rapids farmers market

    Iowa City officials are handling a potential move of its farmers markets from a covered parking ramp – on an occasional basis to a busier site a few blocks away  – by talking to market vendors. Cedar Rapids has a different way of changing its farmers market sites and doesn’t have to jump through the same hoops as Iowa City.  A couple years ago, some vendors and customers were upset over the move from the covered Riverside Roundhouse in Cedar Rapids to an open air market at the city parking lot at Eighth Avenue and Second Street SE.  Market officials say the new site is no longer an issue for customers or vendors.      Nevertheless, Teresa White, the city’s farmers market supervisor, decided to move the Thursday markets from Eighth Avenue to Greene Square Park. “I just want to be different,” she said. Teresa also hopes the market will be a boost for workers in downtown Cedar Rapids, which is still recovering from last June’s flood.  

   Greene Square is quite a convenience for those of us who work in The Gazette, as the park is just outside our office. What do you think? Will that move be a good one?  And what should become of the roundhouse? Is it just a  relic that should be demolished with other flood-damaged buildings?

 

   I will be updating the farmers market schedule for as many in Eastern Iowa as I can find and will post it here later this spring. Most markets don’t start until May, although the Hiawatha one usually gets a head start in April.

   If you are a market master, have information on a farmers market or know of a new one, you can send the info to me at: cindy.hadish@gazcomm.com or leave a message below. Please include a contact name and phone number.

 

    Here is the Cedar Rapids farmers market schedule for this season:

 

    Eighth Avenue and Second Street SE parking lot will be May 2 through Oct. 24; Tuesdays from 4-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon, except when the Downtown Farmers Markets are held. Thursday markets will be 4-6 p.m. in Greene Square Park, from June 11 through Aug. 27.

   Noelridge Park farmers markets, from May 1 through Oct. 23, are 4-6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

   The larger Downtown Farmers Markets – with a record 160 vendors this year – are 7:30 a.m. to noon on June 6 and 20; July 18; Aug. 1 and 15; Sept. 5 and Oct. 3.

 

 

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Where’s the Beacon

Simone Williams sent a message about a wonderful year-round farmers market in response to my blog post about Mount Vernon’s winter farmers market.  I had asked for information about other winter markets and Simone told me of a great one in Beacon.

 

The market is every Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.  In warmer months, it is located on the new ferry dock in the Beacon train station parking lot.  In winter, the market  is right next door inside Pete Seeger’s Sloop  Clubhouse.  Vendors sell everything from smoked trout, black dirt veggies, greenhouse greens,  pastries, breads, meat, eggs, milk, honey, maple syrup, pottery, jewelry, authentic North Carolina bar-b-q, soup, hummus, pesto, quiche and cheesecakes. 

 

Such a great market in small-town Iowa, I thought, and intrigued, went searching for more information. As it turns out, the Beacon market is in New York, not Iowa, which I confirmed with Simone. I should know to specify Iowa when making such requests, but, since the market sounds like a great place and many people will be traveling for the holidays, thought I’d mention it here, even if it’s not in our backyard.

 

With that, if anyone knows of any winter farmers markets, in Eastern Iowa, post a comment below or send an email to cindy.hadish@gazcomm.com

 

And stop by the Beacon market if your travels take you to New York.

 

 

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Winter farmers market

The Mount Vernon Winter Farmers Market season begins Saturday, Nov. 8, from 11 am-1 pm, in the lower level of Mount Vernon City Hall, 213 First St.

 Pastured beef, pork and lamb; apples, natural honey, gourmet candies, baked goods; jams and jellies, hand-crafted jewelry, woodcrafts and more will be available. Markets will continue, twice monthly, through April 2009. The remaining 2008 markets are Nov. 22, Dec. 13 and Dec. 20.

If you know of other winter farmers markets, send information to: cindy.hadish@gazcomm.com

 

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