Anne Bohl of Low Oaks Farm, near Decorah, Iowa, greets a customer at the Downtown Farmers Market in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, June 4, 2016. The Iowa farmers market season kicks off this weekend. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The weather might not feel quite right just yet, but this weekend marks the official kick-off to Iowa’s farmers market season.

Hiawatha traditionally leads the pack, starting on the last Sunday in April, followed by markets in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and more.

Every spring, I spend weeks reaching out to market managers to compile a list to help spread the word about the wonderful farmers markets we have in Eastern Iowa.

Each time, there are changes.

Slice of Americana at Oxford farmers market

Signs point to the Oxford Farmers Market at Creekside Park. The market is closing this year. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

This year, I was heartbroken to hear a great little market in Oxford, Iowa, was closing. It’s not the only one to shut down this season, for a variety of reasons, but it points to the importance of supporting our local farmers and their markets.

Those days of buying fresh produce and handmade and baked goods, along with the entertainment and prepared foods at Oxford’s market, and the others, are gone for now. Hopefully, communities that realize the loss will resurrect them.

New markets have been added to the Homegrown list, so there is good news, as well.

Large-scale farmers markets create a buzz and are a boon for farmers, craftspeople and other small businesses, but keep in mind the smaller markets to keep those hard-working farmers and entrepreneurs in business, too.

Find opening dates, times, locations and other details on more than 50 Eastern Iowa markets on the Homegrown Iowan farmers market list.

Learn more reasons to keep it local at your farmers market.