Muscatine Area Farmers Market to expand to South End

Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–For 29 years, Muscatine residents have enjoyed some of the region’s freshest produce, tastiest baked goods, and most beautiful hand-crafted gifts at the Muscatine Area Farmers Market. In keeping with tradition, the market will return to the lot at the corner of Cedar and Third Street in Muscatine May 7. To give more Muscatine residents access to fresh food this summer, they will also hold an additional market on Tuesdays in the South End beginning in June.

Earlier this year, Market Manager DeFosse shared that the City of Muscatine reached out to her to see about the ability to bring a market to the South End to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables. DeFosse embraced the opportunity, as it aligns with the market’s goals. She elaborated, “one of our biggest priorities with the Farmers Market is to provide equal access to the freshest produce available.”

This year, the additional market will take place each Tuesday evening from June through the end of October from 5 to 7 p.m. in the lot at 807 Grandview Avenue near the Dollar General. As part of the statewide Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides vouchers for farmers market produce to people participating in the Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program or working with their local Area Agency on Aging, the Muscatine Area Farmers Market will start accepting vouchers as soon as agencies issue them at the beginning of June. Because the vouchers will come out just as the market begins, DeFosse feels the timing could not get any better.

Along with the new market location, DeFosse has high hopes for several other partnerships this year. For the first time, It Takes a Village Animal Rescue and Resources will have a booth at the market, allowing them to introduce different adoptable pets to shoppers each week. Because the Muscatine Area Farmers Market allows people to bring their dogs with them while they shop, DeFosse believes it will offer a prime opportunity for pet lovers to meet a new furry friend. The Market also plans to begin working with the Muscatine Police Department as a new location for some of their summer Coffee with a Cop events, which give community members a chance to talk with Muscatine police officers.

To compliment all the new collaborations, the Muscatine Area Farmers Market will have this year, DeFosse assured longtime attendees that both regular vendors and new faces will sell at this year’s market. She reported the first market will have at least 30 vendors and the number will likely grow as the summer progresses and more kinds of produce come into season. She welcomes anyone wanting some of the freshest produce in the city or some of the most unique locally made gifts (such as specialty coffees, alpaca products, custom decorated glassware, and more) to stop out at the farmers market any Saturday May through the end of October between 7:30 and 11:30 a.m.

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