This year marks the 172st anniversary of the outdoor Dubuque Farmers Market. It is the first and oldest community farmer’s market in Iowa. With well over a hundred vendors participating, ranging from local businesses to independent farmers, the market has integrated several new concepts over recent years.
The most prominent of these has been the Double-Up Food Bucks program. Started last year with the purchase of $10-worth of tokens usable within the market, customers also receive $10 worth of tokens for use at produce vendors. This program has provided $4,000 for fresh produce that was purchased by low-income community members on S.N.A.P.
The market is only a short walk away from campus, on Iowa street. Loras students and Dubuque citizens come in droves to enjoy local produce and other farm fresh items.
Also new last year is the Kids at Market program, which takes place between 9 and 11 a.m. each Saturday, and introduces fun crafts and activities for young children with a theme tying into that week’s market. In addition, Chefs at Market is a monthly event where people from around the community come together to cook different types of foods. The next of these will be on Oct. 28.
The Dubuque Farmers Market has a been a hallowed tradition in the community for countless years. In addition to the economic impact, it has served to strengthen the abilities of independent businesses, and provided a social environment to bring members of the community closer together. Its countless years of existence have been fondly remembered by its patrons.
“I think the farmers market is one of the best parts of life here in Dubuque,” said Andrew Gaines, a Dubuquer who frequents the market. “I’m glad we have this chance to come together as a city once a week.”
The market will remain outdoors until the final weekend of October when it will, depending on the weather, move to its indoor location at 11th and Locust for the winter months.