Friday, July 08, 2011

Tower Grove Farmers' Market, St. Louis

 Once upon a time, say 20 years ago, there were few farmers' markets in large cities, including St. Louis from where I just returned after a week's stay.

When I first visited the city nearly 30 years ago there was only Soulard Market, the public market on the fringe of downtown, and a small farmers' market in "The Loop", where a trolley line once terminated in the close-in suburb of University City (named for its proximity to Washington University).  Although the number of farmers markets in St. Louis today pale besides those of Philadelphia, they are much more plentiful than they once were.

Last Saturday I stopped by one of the larger ones, located in the center of Tower Grove Park, a classic urban park in the Olmstead tradition, though not desired by him or his firm. The farmers market featured about two dozen vendors with hardly any artsy-crafts vendors, thankfully, though there were a grilled cheese vendor and a breakfast taco stall. A couple meat vendors (no poultry, though), dairy/cheese vendors and produce vendors filled most of the stalls (two of the produce vendors were Amish: a touch of home). All in all, a well-rounded farmers' market.

My purchases: a pound of bratwurst, four fresh spring onions, half-pint new red potatoes, half-pint sungold tomatoes (hoop house grown), half-pint blackberries, one musk melon (cantaloupe). The only price recall is $3 for the blackberries. The tomatoes were deliciously sweet and real. I sauteed the onions and potatoes to go with the brats this evening, all were yummy.

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