Tower Grove Farmers' Market
Tower Grove Park, West of the Pool Pavilion at the intersection of Northwest Drive & Central Cross Drive, St Louis
Open Saturdays through Nov. 5, 2011, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Set in one of St. Louis’ most beautiful urban parks, the Tower Grove Farmers' Market has become a see-and-be-seen for foodies and their families. The market features about 60 artisan, food and farm vendors, as well as live music, free yoga (great for families with older children) and kid-friendly food (think gourmet grilled cheeses). While you’re there, take advantage of the park’s great bike path, playground and wading pool.
Maplewood Farmers' Market
Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave., Maplewood
Open Wednesdays April through October, 4-7 p.m.
With summer weekends at a premium, plan on visiting one of St. Louis’ few weekday farmers' markets, located in the parking lot of Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. The market offers the typical mix of farm and craft vendors and has the extra bonus of being located at one of our city’s most sustainable and environmentally friendly restaurants and microbreweries -- Schlafly Bottleworks. Patronize the vendors for fresh items to take home, and while you’re there, enjoy a family dinner on the brewery’s patio. In a nod to the importance of locally-grown food, Bottleworks recently converted half an acre of their parking lot into a chemical-free kitchen garden where they grow herbs and produce for the restaurant. They also compost their food scraps to create natural fertilizer for the garden.
At top right: Maplewood Farmers' Market (photo by Sarah C. Truckey).
Clayton Farmers' Market
West of Straub’s Market, 8282 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton
Open Saturdays through Nov. 5, 2011, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The Clayton Farmers' Market is celebrating its 10th anniversary and features dozens of top-tier farm and craft vendors. Smack in the middle of one of our area’s ‘greenest’ cities, Clayton Farmers' Market offers opportunities at every turn to learn about sustainability and environmental efforts in our region, hosting organizations such as the Missouri Botanical Garden and The River des Peres Watershed Coalition for demonstrations and other interactive activities.
At right: Clayton Farmers' Market (Photo courtesy of Straub's Market).
Downtown Farmers' Market
Locust Street between 8th and 9th streets and Old Post Office Plaza
Open Thursdays June through October, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The recent debut of the amazing Citygarden gave families a great reason to make the trip downtown, and the Downtown Farmers' Market is yet another great family destination. Plan a play date at Citygarden, and walk the four short blocks to the Downtown Farmers' Market, brought to you by the same folks who organize the well-oiled machine that is the Tower Grove Farmers' Market. With live music, fun food, and friendly farmers, what could be better?
Soulard Farmers' Market
730 Carroll St., St. Louis
Open year-round Wednesdays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Although the exact date of its inception is up for some debate (some say 1779, others say 1838) one thing is for sure—Soulard Farmers' Market is our area’s oldest public market. Vendors treat customers like old friends—because many have become that after years of families buying food from the same farmers. Kids will love the bustling market space—a far cry from the florescent lights of the grocery store aisles—and an adjacent playground will keep everyone happy before or after shopping.
Kirkwood Farmers' Market
150 East Argonne Drive, Kirkwood
Open everyday through Sept. 24, 2011: Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday hours vary by vendor
A smaller market when compared than others, Kirkwood Farmers' Market makes up for its size with local charm and longer hours—vendors are there daily! Like the community that hosts it, the Kirkwood Farmers' Market, is friendly and family-centered. Don’t miss the Peach Festival on July 16, 2011. Families can taste locally grown peaches, compete in a pie contest and sample other baked goods.
North City Farmers' Market
Crown Square, formerly the 14th Street Mall, 2700 N. 14th St., St. Louis
Open Saturdays June 5 through through Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon
Few farmers' markets are tied as directly to the neighborhood that hosts them as the North City Farmers' Market. Much of the produce for sale is grown in the nearby 13th Street Community Garden. The goal of the market is to provide fresh, local produce at affordable prices to improve local access to healthy, inexpensive food. Other vendors—like Angel Baked Cookies—are nonprofits that hope to empower neighborhood residents in other ways. If you shop here with your family, you can feel good about the fact that your dollars are going to help rebuild a once-great neighborhood. What’s the draw for kids? The market is right across the street from Crown Candy Kitchen, a St. Louis restaurant landmark with delicious fountain desserts.
Ferguson Farmers' Market
20. S. Florissant, Ferguson
Open Saturdays through Oct. 30, 8 a.m. to noon
Directly accessible via the Ted Jones Bike Trail, the Ferguson Farmers' Market makes for a great family field trip. Visit the market for breakfast, catch a cooking demonstration or participate in a kid-friendly craft activity hosted by market organizers (check the website for more information), and then hit the trail for a two-mile bike ride. The trail includes a 392-foot long box tunnel that doubles as a public art project, overseen by local artists Justin Tolentino and Jim McKelvey (of Third Degree Glass Factory) as well as student artists from McCluer High School.
At right: Children participate in chalk art at Ferguson Farmers' Market (photo courtesy of Ferguson Farmers' Market).
Originally published June 2010. Updated May 2011.
After living and writing in St. Louis for almost 15 years, Meredith Boggess has plenty of good things to share about her adopted hometown. She and her husband recently welcomed their first daughter into their home on The Hill, and, despite the sleepless nights, they are still awash in that new parent glow. Contact Meredith at [email protected]
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