Saturdaze: Des Moines Farmers Market

DSM Farmers MarketWelcome to the first of many Saturdaze posts! I don’t know if it was the perfect chilly morning, all the little babies bundled up, or the police officer who actually had coffee and a donut in hand that made today feel like a scene out of a movie. Court Avenue in Des Moines took on an entirely different persona than the one I’ve grown accustomed to on Friday and Saturday nights (not to say that’s a bad thing.) Homemade apple cider took the place of apple pie shots. Fresh cream-filled Danishes took the place of 1:30 a.m. cheese balls. And pink-cheeked children took the place of, for lack of a better term, drunk betches.

Des Moines is ranked the #2 best Farmers Market in the country. On top of Midwestern food favorites, there is a ton of live music, kids activities, handmade jewelry, and fresh flowers. To be honest, I haven’t always been interested in these types of events. I cringed at the words “fair” or “market.” I would’ve much rather been at a Starbucks or the mall. Maybe I’m intrigued by Farmers Markets now because it’s such a stereotypical blogger thing to do, like there’s some weird mold a blogger needs to fit into — someone who swears by organic food or really likes to eat kale; someone who finds time for yoga and running every day in between a full-time job; and someone whose gorgeous hair takes no effort at all; and someone who makes regular appearances at a downtown Farmers Market.

I’m happy to say none of these stereotypes need to be true, nor is a Farmers Market meant to be for a particular type of audience. My bf and I saw everything from Iowa State/Iowa fanatics to Lululemon lovers to kids to adults to dogs. No rules. Just awesomeness.

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Though it was aesthetically pleasing to see all the pumpkins and gourds, I couldn’t keep myself from having horrific Halloween costume flashbacks – Princess Jasmine (complete with wig, circa 1997), Josie from Josie & the Pussycats (complete with purple fuzzy leopard print heels, circa 2000,) and a pair of Halloween pajama pants with a t-shirt that said “This is My Costume” (complete with zero creativity, circa 2006.)

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Then we found the breakfast. GOOD GOD.  With slices bigger than Jeff’s, how could we say no? It’s atypical for either of us to turn down bacon, but as soon as we saw how fresh and bright the vegetables looked, we could not resist. Although it lacked my favorite pizza ingredient (red pizza SAWCE), everything came together perfectly with a simple garlic butter sauce. Tomatoes, spinach, eggs, and banana peppers topped it all off. (Literally. They were the toppings.) RIley and I may have picked off the mushrooms and olives. What can I say? We’re children.

photo (18)The best find of the day? A tent filled with dahlias that were grown right in Ames. It looked like a garden out of Whoville. (I had to take one home.) As we meandered through the tents, I reveled in the hard work of all the vendors. I was just here, slightly hung over and enjoying my first time at the Farmers Market. But they were here every Saturday, pre-sunrise to post-lunch. They sold items that they put hours of work into. They greeted every person with a friendly face and kind word. Looks like Minnesota nice has traveled south!