By Cindy Hadish
(c) Homegrown Iowan
Fans of local foods don’t have a long wait between the end of the outdoor farmers market season in Iowa and the start of indoor markets.
The last of those “summer” markets ended this week, and already, customers can find their fill of fresh produce, baked goods, local meats and more as the winter market season kicks off this Saturday, Nov. 2.
Mount Vernon’s market will open its doors that day from 10 a.m. to noon at the First Street Community Center, 221 First St. NE. Dubuque also starts its indoor season that day.
Market coordinators in Mount Vernon promise plenty of produce at this Saturday’s market, including kale, spinach, apples, squash, radishes, onions, beets, turnips and carrots.
Also, mushrooms, eggs, pastured pork and lamb, locally produced wine, granola, jam, jellies, fresh baked breads and more will be sold. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
As a longtime customer, I can attest to the wonderful variety of items found at the Mount Vernon market and beginning this season, the indoor market will be open every Saturday, through April.
I’m glad to hear that several other indoor markets are continuing in Eastern Iowa, including those in Ely, Urbana and Iowa City, with Iowa City planning a move from Grant Wood School to the former Sycamore Mall, plus a new market starting at the Johnson County Fairgrounds.
Also, the NewBo City Market, which just celebrated its first anniversary in October, continues with a variety of indoor vendors at its site in the New Bohemia District of Cedar Rapids.
In Davenport, the Freight House Farmers’ Market maintains indoor hours in the historic Freight House Building, along with the Quad Cities Food Hub.
Another local foods option is the Iowa Valley Food Co-op, which uses an online ordering system for its members. Items are picked up during monthly distribution days. The co-op’s November distribution will be at its site at Matthew 25 in northwest Cedar Rapids, but will be moving along with Matthew 25 the following month.
Following is a list of indoor markets operating in Eastern Iowa during the 2013-2014 season. Let me know if you have info on others.
— Dubuque: Colts Center, 1101 Central Ave.; 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays, Nov. 2 through April.
— Ely: Public Library, 1595 Dows St.; 9 a.m. to noon on Nov. 9 and 23; Dec. 14 and 21; Jan. 11 and 25; Feb. 8 and 22; March 8 and 22 and April 12 and 26.
— Freight House Farmers’ Market, 421 W. River Drive, Davenport; 3-6 p.m. Tuesdays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. The Quad Cities Food Hub Market Store is open in the same building from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The store features local as well as regional and other natural and health foods. Get Directions
— Iowa City: Iowa City Marketplace (formerly Sycamore Mall) 1660 Sycamore St.; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, Nov. 23 to April 26, except Dec. 14, when the Holiday Market takes place at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, 220 S. Gilbert St. The first Holiday Market is set for the rec center on Nov. 16. Both holiday markets are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
— Iowa City: Johnson County Fairgrounds, Building C, 4261 Oak Crest Hill Rd. SE, Iowa City; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays – November 10 & 24; December 8 & 22; January 12 & 26; February 9 & 23; and March 9 & 23. See: www.johnsoncofair.com
— Mount Vernon: Community Center, 221 First St. NE; 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays, Nov. 2 through April. No market Dec. 28.
— NewBo City Market, 1100 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays (guest vendors arrive at 4 p.m.); 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.
— Urbana: Community Room below City Hall, 906 West Main St.; 9 to 11 a.m. on the second Saturday of every month, Nov. 9 through March 8.