Downtown Farmers’ Market Winter Market

It seems impossible that this Thursday is Thanksgiving. It’s been a warm fall, I’ve been traveling, and, well, it just seems way too early for Thanksgiving. But here we are, five days out.

As is tradition, the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market held its first of two winter markets this weekend. My daughter Lauren was home from Kansas City with her roommate Aquila. They spent most of the weekend with my other daughter Katie, but the four of us went to the market on Saturday morning.

Happily, it was not as crowded as usual. Perhaps everyone got there early? We did not.

The market is held inside at Capital Square (400 Locust) and a little bit outdoors at Nollen Plaza. The market website says there were 120 vendors, but I didn’t do an official count. I just know I found everything I was looking for and more: fresh spinach, basil, and onions; garlic foccacia bread from South Union Bakery; mixes to make dips and cheeseballs for holiday family gatherings from Two Sisters Pantry; and a nice-looking butternut squash.

The girls bought crab rangoon from an outdoor food vendor, popcorn from Brandmeyer Popcorn Company, and jars of jelly from The Jelly Lady. Katie and I drooled over the beautiful handcrafted mittens and scarves.

I generally eat a Dutch letter from Strudl Haus and buy at least a couple of chunks of cheese (from Reichert’s Dairy Air, Maytag Dairy Farms, and Frisian Farms), but becoming a vegan has cut these things out of my diet. I opted for a wheatgrass shot from Fresh Cafe. (Um, definitely not as good as a Dutch letter.)

The next winter market will be held in the same location on Dec. 16-17 (Friday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

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