The Dubuque Farmers’ Market, located on Iowa Street, from 10th Street to just past 13th Street and between Central Avenue and Main Street, is an open-air outdoor market created to provide fresh food and crafted products directly from local farmers, producers, crafters, and artisans. Over the years, the market has grown to attract vendors offering a larger variety of produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, handmade goods, on-site prepared foods and free live musical entertainment.
Currently in its 173rd year, the market has proven to be a positive force in the local community. According to Jo Lynn Pike, the marked manager for the organization, it promotes healthy eating and strengthens communities’ ties. “Farmers’ Market brings people to the surroundings businesses and builds a connection within the community.” Pike also says that the Farmers’ Market is good for college students as well, “Farmers’ Market is good for college students because it allows them to help to build the community. Purchasing local foods direct from the farmer allows for a connection between the grower and the consumer. Local food also supports local families; buying wholesale reduces the price and allows farmers to realize retail income. Keeping family farms alive.”
The idea that students beneficent from the Farmers’ Market is also shared among Loras students. According to one student, first-year Jake Heelein, the market is a great place to get some supplement foods to provide what the on-campus food services do not. “It’s definitely nice to get things that aren’t Easy Mac and are more nutrient-filled. Things to spice up eating habits.” Heelein also said that the social atmosphere is a great place for Loras students to socialize and enjoy themselves. Having himself made friends from talking to classmates at the market and finding the general experience a very relaxing one, “It was a nice time where I could see fellow students and get to know them outside of the classroom. A lot of the friends I talk to now were people I talked to or met at the Farmers’ Market. Honestly, it’s a very relaxing way to spend a Saturday morning. It’s rather cheap, depending on who you buy from. It’s fun window-shopping and just a fun way to get more into the Dubuque area. I think doing that let me feel more connected to the town that I was in.”
The Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday from 7 a.m. – noon, May through October.