OPINION BY NATALIE LARIMER
Before I even start, if you have never been to the Des Moines Farmers’ Market, you need to go.
Every Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon, the city stops for a little bit to set up tents and sell each other tomatoes. It’s glorious.
But the farmers’ market is not just for produce. There are tons of interesting booths at market that everyone should enjoy, so I took my friend, first-year Jorjia Vawter, exploring to find the best of the booths.
First off, this grandma knows her way around fudge. She gave us samples of the milk chocolate and the dark chocolate coffee, and the only word I can use to describe it is “wow.” I bought a peanut butter brownie from her for $2.50, and even though I don’t like peanut butter, it was incredible.
This was a pastry booth that sold really awesome coconut macaroon things (they had a name but I completely forgot) for $1.50. They also had some pastries for those of you who for some reason or another don’t like coconut. Moroccan-style cookies and general wonderment were sold at this booth.
Busy Bee Garden Produce
I couldn’t avoid the produce side of the Farmers Market. At Busy Bee, they advertise a completely chemical-free way of farming goods. So if you ever need vegetables and don’t want to consume a ton of pesticides, this stand is where you should go.
At this booth, the vendors sold notebooks made from old hardcover books. I got a notebook here a while ago that was made from a children’s book called “Adventures in Science” and there were plenty other adorable journals that required a ton of restraint to not purchase.
Besides all the vendors, there are also musicians at the market. One in particular that I was impressed with was Lily DeTaeye. She played ukulele and guitar and sang covers of popular songs like “Riptide” and “Count on Me” and she was so great that I spent $10 on her CD, “Nothing To Say.” She’s spectacular, and I’m very glad I invested in her album.
Another reason I love the farmers’ market is the large population of dogs. It’s a very dog-friendly environment. I was blessed with permission to meet and pet Zoe, a truly majestic creature. I’m a big fan of dogs, so whenever I am in a situation where I am able to pet them, it’s guaranteed that I will do so.
And of course, it would not be a story about the market without mentioning the farmers’ market wagons. You occasionally see people pulling them behind them full with trash bags stuffed with lettuce, but there are rules. My brother Zach works at the market and said they are very strict about allowing people to ride in them.
“They see you looking at the wagons and getting the idea and just shake their head,” he said.
Vawter pitched the idea of putting up signs that just say, “Don’t.” I think that’s the best way to prevent misuse of the classic Radio Flyers provided for us.
Next Saturday, I expect to see you all leaving campus with your reusable bags and pockets full of cash and returning with small jars of honey and CDs from local musicians. It’s basically Iowa initiation.