Why Shop the Farmers Market?
In the world today, there is no shortage of places to spend your money. From big chains to mom and pops, each place offers something different. Why, then, may you ask yourself, should I shop at the Farmers Market?
One of the most important points is we're local. The average supermarket product may travel more than 1,000 miles to get to your table. That's a lot of natural resources used and what does this say for the age of your items? Supermarket eggs may be more than 30 days old and sometimes chemical agents are used on produce to replace nature's ripening process. Not to mention the preservatives. It may not be quite the farm freshness you're going for.
Shop seasonal. How fun to shop what's fresh in the market. The range and flavors of the produce in the summer market is amazing, but don't discount the delicious root vegetables of winter. Tomatoes grown hydroponically and indoor greenhouses have allowed us to increase the variety of produce in the winter market. Shopping seasonal also may encourage you to try something new. From asparagas to zucchini, produce is always changing. Don't know how to fix it? Just ask! Our vendors and market volunteers can help brainstorm some recipe ideas.
Support small businesses. Each one of our vendors is a small business. Whether they grow it on a vine or create it on a loom, each product is proudly provided to you by a vendor who is helping support their family. Produce, meat, pasta, wine, popcorn, candles, wooden items, breads, eggs, loom woven rugs, kambucha, mead, fish, masks, pastries, dips, jewelry, coffee...phew, you name it, we've got it! Our outdoor market opens May 1 and will host more than 100 vendors with something for everyone. Our strong indoor market is open year round and even offers a few hardy vendors who've braved the cold all winter. We are currently open
8-2 on Saturdays and 10-2 on Sundays and feature everything needed to create your own farm to table dinner!
Don't want to be around all the people? We offer on-line services through our Market2Go platform. Browse our offerings from the comfort of your own home. Easy to use, this format allows you to select the same high quality products from our vendors. On Saturday, just pull up to the designated area and we will bring your order out to your car.
Support community programming. The Freight House Farmers Market is a hub of educational programs. The Chef in the Market program teaches cooking skills and is free of charge during market hours. Market in Motion promotes physical activity through varied events, such as yoga on the patio. Providing a host site for multiple events and programs through partnerships with various non-profits keeps us actively engaged and concerned about the well-being of the Quad Cities. We are home of Christkindlmarkt Quad Cities (Scheduled for Dec 3-5, 2021...make a note!)
We're a certified SNAP provider. We certified as a market last Spring and this program has been a win-win for vendors and community alike. We process your card and issue tokens to be used throughout the market. Double Up Bucks must be used for fruits and vegetables, but promote a balanced diet for your family. The tokens do not expire. Double Up Bucks are a bonus provided by the State of Iowa. They changed the program this year and need to be used quarterly. Double Up Bucks can also be used in our Seed Savers Exchange so you can grow your own garden.
My final reason is...its fun! What could be better than wandering through the vendor stalls enjoying the fresh summer air? Meet friends to share a drink or lunch on the newly renovated deck overlooking the Mighty Mississippi. Maybe pet a new dog or two? (Please remember to ask first.). Just soak up some sunshine after this cold, snowy winter. The vendors are friendly. Spirits are high. Musical performances on the deck add to a relaxing atmosphere.
The Freight House Farmers Market truly is my happy place and I love to share it!