DES MOINES, Iowa — The Downtown Farmers’ Market, a beloved staple of spring and summer in Des Moines, is returning to Court Avenue this weekend.
Because of the pandemic, everyone will be asked to wear masks, the market will be running at 50 percent capacity with around 100 vendors, and there will be hand sanitizer dispensers at every intersection.
“We’re just really implementing things that help modify it in a way to encourage safety and make sure that we all are comfortable shopping at the market,” Director of the Downtown Farmers’ Market,” Kelly Foss said. “Also respect for our vendors who are coming from across the state to make sure they can offer their amazing produce and farm-raised food to all of our community here in Des Moines.”
Two Des Moines natives, Monika Owczarski and Crystal Freeman have decided to create the Heart of Des Moines Farmers Market located on 6th and Forest Avenue.
Owczarski said being a vendor at a farmers’ market can be costly. So the founders of this new weekly event want to make the market as accessible as possible for small business owners by allowing pop-up vendors that can rent a booth from week to week.
Owczarski runs the urban farm, Sweet Tooth, that has been operating a community fridge and farm stand in Des Moines.
Freeman said it’s important to provide fresh produce to those who lack access in the Riverbend area.
“When I had moved back to the 50314 area code and when I went to the grocery store and I just saw what was available, it just, we needed to have more options,” Freemain said.
Organizers of both the Downtown and Heart of Des Moines Farmers Markets said this weekend will only be the first phase of opening to full capacity.
“Each week is going to look different and each month is going to look different and hopefully sooner rather than later we’ll be able to phase in all of our local artists and crafters and prepared food vendors that would really love to be part of the market as well,” Foss said.
Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market will take place every Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The Heart of Des Moines Farmers Market will take place every Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Masks will be required.