Farmers markets have always been a favorite way to get the freshest fruits and vegetables, among other locally made food items. They not only provide our communities with nutritious foods, but they are also a way to support local farmers and help to preserve farmland, promote sustainability and stimulate our local economy. There are a lot of positive benefits for everyone involved. Not to mention, when farmers markets are at their height of produce production and sales, the weather is typically at its best and it's the perfect time of year to get out of the house and enjoy it. And what better way to do your shopping, than to browse an outdoor farmers market for your favorite fall fruits and vegies. You can find farmers markets just about everywhere across the country these days, some bigger than others. Have you ever wondered what some of the best farmers markets were in the country? Well here is a list of the top 10 farmers markets to visit in the fall.
10. Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market - San Francisco (Embarcadero at Market Street)
There are a lot of top notch restaurants in the San Francisco area and it's not unusual for you to see some of the famous chefs out scouting the fresh foods of the local farmers market for their dishes, especially on Saturdays. The most well-known is Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market and it sits on Embarcadero, at Market Street overlooking the Bay. This is one of the most famous Farmer's Markets known around the world, and it offers a wide range of fresh foods, and even freshly prepared dishes from local restaurants on Saturday. Some of what you'll find on the stands, include, fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, meats and eggs, all from the local regional farmers and ranchers. The market is open year round, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and is a favorite hotspot among the locals during the fall for their wide variety of fresh fall produce.
9. Chicago Green City Market – Chicago (1750 North Clark St.)
Founded in 1998, the market started out as just a couple of local farmers and a handful of customers on an alley street. The market was nurtured, and over the years it has grown into one of the top markets to visit. The mission of the market was to connect local farmers and producers to local restaurants, chefs and food organizations, and help provide sustainability among the local community's farmers, as well as provide fresh foods to the community. Fall is one of the most popular times of the year for customers to stop in and pick the fresh fall produce the farmers bring in. The crisp, cool air gets people in a cooking spirit, not to mention, pumpkin carving mood, and there's not better place to find one, then the Farmer's Market in Chicago. While there this fall, look for these special foods: Breads from Bennison’s, local honey, and, Grass is Greener Garden’s wild black raspberries.
8. Third Street South Farmers Market (open year-round) - Naples, Florida
This Farmer's Market is open on Saturdays, 7:30-11:30 a.m. all year long. There are over 60 local vendors that set up their stands behind Tommy Bahama's, in the parking lot on Third Street. They sell fresh produce along with organic meat, locally caught seafood, artisan chocolates, flowers and much more. For those who shop for gluten-free foods or follow the paleo diet, this market caters to you, too. Many cultures are involved with the local market so you can get a taste of different countries, including, French, Argentinian, German and Greek, and many more. Shop the market in the fall and enjoy all the colors and flavors of the season, fresh from the locals' gardens.
7. Green Market at Piedmont Park Conservancy – Atlanta (1071 Piedmont Ave.)
The Green Market at Piedmont Park Conservancy is a May 7 - October 10 Market that draws a lot of the locals in on Saturdays. It is strictly a local fare, and has been operating since 2011. One of the biggest draws is the area, the famous, Piedmont Park which is highly popular. The fall months are prime market-going months where you can choose from so many fresh fall flavors: mushrooms, potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, pumpkins, herbs, local honey and much more. Live entertainment can also be heard at the park, among other events, so why not make it a day when you browse the Green Market.
6. Athens Farmer's Market - Athens, GA
Athens isn't known for just being a college town, there's a whole other reason why many like to go to Athens, and it's the wonderful Farmer's Market in town. Fall fest is a favorite for locals, and out-of-towners, alike. You get into the holiday spirit when you browse the fresh fall foods and see what all the many local vendors have to offer. Supporting the local growers is important to Athens Farmer's Market, and there are a large number of vendors who participate with the market. They bring you, fresh strawberries, lettuce, cauliflower, beets, bok choy, pumpkins, local honey, fresh baked breads, pickles, syrups and so much more. Open April to December, you don't want to miss out on the fun and enjoyment of supporting the local farms and producers of the area.
5. Boston Copley Square Farmer’s Market – Boston (139 Saint James Ave.)
Boston is one of the most popular tourist hot spots and that makes this farmer's market even more popular, it's location. There is just about everything you could imagine in this area, which makes shopping at the market even more fun. Fall is one of the best times to head up the coast to the New England states, so if you plan to hit Boston on way, don't pass by the Boston Copley Square Farmer's Market where not only the colors of the leaves are changing, but the colors of produce, too. You can find all your favorite fall produce here with the hundreds of vendors that set up their stands. Look for Narragansett Creamery cheese and baked goods from the Danish Pastry House, too. This market is open May 17 through November 22.
4. Santa Monica Farmer’s Market- Los Angeles, CA on Arizona Avenue
Los Angeles is big on everything, celebrities, night clubs, restaurants, shopping, and the Santa Monica Farmer's Market. One of the most famous farmer's markets in the nation, this market spreads out over four blocks and is also recognized as the "Organic Market." Why? Because the largest number of certified-organic growers from any market in the entire city, are at this one. Fall time is the best time to find things like squashes, root vegetables, pumpkins, fresh greens, apples, fresh made pastries, fresh herbs and fresh spices.
3. Baltimore Farmers' Market - Baltimore, MD
At the Baltimore Farmer's Market, there is more than just fresh produce, there are musicians playing live music, crafts, and more. The market comes alive, and fall is a festival of fun here. Residents and visitors love all the market has to offer, including fresh brewed coffee, pickles, pickle chips, even rugs. This is one of the most popular fresh markets in the U.S. and it's no wonder with all of the traditions this market has held for years. The market is open from April to December 7, so come visit a real fall festival in the heart of Baltimore.
2. Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University – Portland, OR
This is one of the most impressive of all Farmer's Markets across the country. The market started in 1992 and today, features, not only organic produce, but prepared foods and products, such as freshly baked breads, a variety of freshly made cheeses, pickles, honey and more. You can also pick up something to munch on while you browse, from a vendor who has made a culinary dish. Hot tamales are a favorite, or grab a bowl of homemade soup, or anything else that tempts you. There are more than 140 vendors that set up booths and you'll enjoy all the produce that the cool fall weather brings in from the local farms. The Portland Farmer's Market is open March -October and November-February, so get ready for holiday cooking with your fresh foods you bring home from one of this nation's favorite farmer's market.
1. Bentonville Farmer's Market - Bentonville, AR
It's important to local chefs and local restaurants to use food grown by local farmers, which is why many frequent the Bentonville Farmer's Market. The market has a wide selection of fresh grown fruits and vegies, among other locally prepared foods, and one of the best time to tap into these fresh foods, is the fall. Chef Matthew McClure of The Hive restaurant talks about his love of the fresh collard greens and corn in fall, as well as his favorite, the apples from A&A Orchard. The market is open from April to October, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and you don't want to miss out on their fall selection of fresh produce to include on your dining room table. Bentonville Farmer's Market is a favorite among Fresh Market lovers and the local say you can't beat the freshness, the flavor or the prices, when it comes to their local growers.
Written by Maria McCutchen
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