When the weather turns warm in the Beehive State, it isn’t hard to find fresh produce. In recent years, Farmers Markets have cropped up and become very popular throughout the state.
Saturday, the Salt Lake City Downtown Farmers Market will begin its season, which continues into the fall, according to market manager Kim Angeli.
The Downtown Farmers Market hosts two markets in the summer, including the Saturday market and the Tuesday market, which begins in August, Angeli said.
The Saturday morning market draws about 300 farmers, food producers and local crafters. Though the farms are required to come from within 250 miles of Salt Lake City, the majority of farmers come from within 50 miles.
“A large part of our mission is to support local agriculture in our community and to reduce food transportation time so it has a great impact on the health of our environment,” Angeli said.
The Saturday market is also a hub for entertainment, including prepared food vendors who will cook on site, local bands playing from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and an education station that will feature a different chef, master preserver or food advocate who will lead patrons through the selection, preparation and preservation of local produce, Angeli said.
With vendors coming from more than 16 counties, including some from Wyoming and Idaho, the Saturday market averages 8,000 to 10,000 people, some of whom come regularly from Ogden, Park City and Provo for the quality of vendors and the local experience, Angeli said.
The Tuesday market, which runs from August to October, is primarily a stop-and-go market, where consumers can buy their fresh produce “during the most bountiful time of the year,” Angeli said.
Angeli suggests people come to the market early for a better produce selection and come with a menu in mind. She advised expanding that menu to try two new things each time they come and to bring reusable bags.
Angeli believes farmers markets are important for the community, because it’s a connection between the local agriculture in rural communities and those who live in the city.
“It’s really important that people understand where their food comes from and support local food so that we continue to have agriculture and agriculture businesses that a younger generation is into, and for them to be sustainable financially,” Angeli said. “That’s how we’re going to encourage this next generation of farming.”
Angeli added a great way they encourage farming in the younger generation is by bringing the growers to the market to have conversations with their consumers.
The Saturday market will run at Pioneer Park from June 13 to Oct. 24, 8-2 p.m., and the Tuesday market will run at Pioneer Park from Aug. 4 to Oct. 20 from 4 p.m. to dusk. The markets are open both rain and shine.
Many other farmers markets are also occurring around Utah this summer. See the following graphic for a list of the markets in your community.