As the weather cools down, you’d think farmers markets would be drying up. But a quick look across the country shows that’s far from the case. All across America, farmers are still popping up with a bevy of seasonal vegetables, meats, cheese and herbs. We’ve rounded up five markets worth checking out this weekend.
Santa Monica Farmers Market, Calif.
At the year-round downtown market, farmers sell you their produce directly. Visit on Wednesdays and Saturdays to pick up honey from Bill’s Bees, fruit from Avila and Sons Farm, mushrooms from Clearwater Farms and bison from Lindner Bison. If you aren’t much of a cook, opt for ready-made fare from local eateries, like sushi spot Sugarfish and bistro-style Fig Restaurant.
Green City Market, Chicago
Head to Lincoln Park for Chicago’s major market, which ends its outdoor season (Wednesdays and Saturdays) on October 27. Green City starts its indoor run (Saturdays only) on November 3 at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The market focuses on local and sustainable food, with 55 diverse stalls filled with more than 20 varietals of plums, elk and tamales. Local chefs — Rockit Bar & Grill’s Amanda Downing and Campagnola’s Vince Di Battista — will perform cooking demonstrations at the end of the month, so mark your calendars.
Nashville Farmers’ Market, Tenn.
Tracing its roots back to 1800s, the year-round Nashville market consists of three separate areas — the Farm Side with most of the food vendors, the Market House with restaurants and a café, and then the Flea Market that sells crafts like pottery and jewelry. Make a beeline for the food stalls to purchase tubs of chèvre from Noble Springs Dairy and spicy kettle corn by Moose Head Kettle Corn. Check out the market’s seasonality calendar to see what’s available before you go.
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, San Francisco
Situated outside the historic Ferry Building and overlooking the bay, the San Francisco market has been operating since 1933. It’s open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday year round, but its biggest day is Saturday. Stroll around for avocados from Brokaw Nursery, squash blossoms from Chue’s Farm and leafy veggies from Heirloom Organic Gardens. After the market, duck inside the Ferry Building to do more shopping among the artisan food stalls (we always stop first at Blue Bottle Coffee for a freshly brewed cup before picking up local cheeses from Cow Girl Creamery).
Union Square Greenmarket, New York City
One of New York City‘s most-recognized farmers markets occurs every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in Union Square Park. During the market’s peak season, you can expect over 140 vendors. But even in the fall, farmers from around the region sell everything from dried lavender sachets to emu and ostrich eggs. Cooking demos take place weekly, and on Mondays, kids can stop by the Greenmarket Youth Education Station for a market tour and to meet local farmers.
Photo Courtesy of Tom Bastin