Expect more meat, baked goods at farmers markets

Ag/Outdoor

April 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — For fresh food connoisseurs May means the opening of farmers markets and with an early spring this year some produce may be ripe and ready ahead of normal. Iowa’s biggest farmers market is in downtown Des Moines, where nearly 40,000 people attended opening day last year. Manager Kelly Foss says this year’s opening on May 5 should equal or better that turnout. The market has grown to about 20,000 visitors each Saturday morning May through October. Foss says she sees a surge in interest in meat producers and makers of gourmet cupcakes and muffins. Nationally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports the number of farmers markets has climbed in the last decade to more than 7,000. The Iowa Department of Agriculture lists more than 240 farmers markets in the state.