Farmers' Markets | St. Louis Public Radio

Farmers' Markets

Patrick Horine joined Wednesday's program.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The weather outside may be frightful, but Patrick Horine, co-founder of the popular Tower Grove Farmers' Market, isn’t exactly closing up shop for the colder months these days. As he looks toward the final market of the season this weekend in the south St. Louis park, he’s also gearing up for its wintry equivalent — which is growing.

Initially launched in 2007 as a monthly affair, the Winter Market this year will take place weekly beginning Dec. 7. And it’s moving to the spacious Koken Art Factory in St. Louis’ Fox Park neighborhood to accommodate dozens of local vendors.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Horine joined host Sarah Fenske for a sneak peek at the wintry offerings, which also will feature a holiday theme the first three Saturdays of the season. He also discussed farmers market trends in the region as a whole.

Visitors look over produce at one stand at the Old Town Farmers Market on July 20. The Belleville market started accepting SNAP benefits this year.
Eric Schmid | St Louis Public Radio

The Old Town Farmers Market draws people seeking fresh, local produce to Belleville’s downtown every Saturday morning. 

Food stands line a block of South Charles Street offering fresh meats, eggs, vegetables and fruits, and a steady stream of patrons checks out the options six months of the year.

Now the popular farmers market hopes to attract a new set of customers: SNAP users. 

Apples at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market
Tower Grove Farmers' Market via Facebook

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has made it easier for farmers to sell the produce they grow at farmers markets.

Aldermen on Friday voted by a wide margin to exempt those farmers from the city’s graduated business license tax. Currently, even a small farm has to pay $200.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 14, 2012 - Actor and activist Wendell Pierce remembers, as a boy, hearing the sound of the produce wagon coming down his street in Pontchartrain Park, a neighborhood in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans that he wistfully calls a bucolic “black Mayberry.”

“It was the first place African Americans could purchase houses in segregated New Orleans after World War II, and it became an incubator for talent,” says the star of HBO's acclaimed series “The Wire” and “Treme,” who grew up with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard. “Out of something ugly, we created something beautiful.”

Long Acres Farm co-owner Debbie Schneider talks to long-time customer Susan Wells-Souza during the produce stand's last day at Delmar Loop, October 29, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

A produce stand that’s been a Delmar Loop institution for more than four decades is moving to a new location.

After 43 years at an outdoor market in a parking lot just northwest of Fitz’s, Long Acres Farm is being forced to move because it can no longer afford the rent.

Jean Beaufort

A program started last year to make locally-produced fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable for low-income St. Louisans is planning to expand into area grocery stores.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Michael and Tara Gallina are the proprietors of Rooster and the Hen, a culinary concept — they say — that seeks to delight eaters through thoughtfulness; for the way our food is grown and raised, to the care and warmth in which it's served.

Ferguson Farmers Market

The oldest, still-operating farmers market in St. Louis, Soulard Farmers Market, has a history that stretches back over 200 years. But it is only in the past 15 that the local food scene has exploded across other municipalities in the region, bringing with it smaller markets and more opportunities for local growers to sell their produce and products.

Heavy, continuous rains put strain on Missouri farmers

Jun 19, 2015
Flooded fields, an inability to plant, and the possibility of disease are all concerns Missouri farmers have due to recent rains.
Sonya Green | Flickr

Missouri's farmers are facing significant challenges as heavy rains from Tropical Storm Bill compound an already wet planting season.

Low-income customers' dollars will get twice the value on money spent on fruits and vegetables at several local farmers markets.
Courtesy SNAP 2 It! Program, via St. Louis Farmers Market Association

A new program at several local farmers markets will give low-income customers double the value for money spent on fruits and vegetables.

Javier Mendoza
File Photo | St. Louis Beacon

Here’s hoping the weather cooperates this weekend because lots of festivals are planned — as well as opera al fresco.

(via Flickr/tony.bailey)

This weekend marks the start of the summer farmers’ market season with stalls opening in Kirkwood, Lake St. Louis, and Cuivre River. While these markets are re-opening, the Clayton Farmers Market is not.

An artists rendering of the St. Louis Swap Meet
St. Louis Swap Meet

Furniture made from pallets. Barbecue. Caramel apples. Toy makers. Poster makers. Cat adoptions and avant-garde pottery.

Twenty-Four Things To Do In St. Louis This Summer

Jul 17, 2014
Romondo Davis

Summer in the city. There’s nothing like it, and no shortage of things to see, do and experience in St. Louis. From parks to concerts and festivals, frozen custard to marionettes, farmers markets to museums, there’s an event (or 20) for everyone.

Author Amanda Doyle has written a second St. Louis guidebook. She said being an outsider affects her view of St. Louis.

“You can’t be born in a place and appreciate everything about it,” she said.

Erin Williams

The North City Farmers’ Market in St. Louis is in a neighborhood where the majority of its residents are African American.  It’s been a challenge, however, to attract more of them to the market every week.

Community organizers are attempting to change that. Their idea is to feature African American musicians with the hope that shoppers will follow.

Held on the 2700 block of North 14th Street every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the North City Farmers' Market will take place through October 12.     

(via Flickr/tony.bailey)

Brian Mackey of Illinois Public Radio reported for this story.

The number of Illinois farmers' markets that accept electronic payment is expected to double under a new federal grant.  The program pays for machines that can swipe credit, debit and Link cards -- the modern version of food stamps.

Josh Dotson's family has been selling produce at farmers' markets for decades.

Dotson sells at markets that already accept Link cards, and he says it's brought new customers.

Farmers' markets provide hope for small farms

Jul 9, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 9, 2012 - Farmers’ markets are certainly not new to the St. Louis area, the Soulard Market has been around since 1779, according to its website. However, smaller grower-only markets have been popping up in recent years around the area providing fresh organic food grown by local farmers. These markets not only provide healthy food, they present a community bonding experience and even help the local economy.  Despite the growth, local farmers struggle to compete with grocery stores and large corporate farms.

Major renovations on display for Soulard Market

Jun 28, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 28, 2012 - The city unveiled a master plan for renovations to Soulard Market on Wednesday. The city hopes the renovations will create a vibrant shopping market that will attract more local shoppers and produce more revenue for vendors. Changes will be made to market operations, management, tenant mix, hours of operation, parking and the structure.

pasa47 / Flickr

The City of St. Louis has unveiled its plan to renovate the Soulard Market and Park.

Physical improvements would include completely enclosing the market, expanding parking options and adding signage that distinguishes venders that are selling locally grown food from vendors that are reselling produce or other food items.

The farmers market would be open all weekend, too.

Citing a survey indicating strong customer demand, the market would shift from being open Wednesday through Saturday to Thursday through Sunday. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 4, 2012 - The chairman of the St. Louis County Council praised a plan to allow voters to decide whether to increase sales taxes to improve the Arch grounds and provide a funding stream for area parks, including those in St. Louis County.

“It would help us with some improvements in our parks system down the road,” said Councilman Michael O’Mara, D-Florissant, in an interview with reporters Tuesday. “I think it’s a good project for downtown St. Louis and both of us need to pass it for it to succeed. So, I’d be in favor of something like that.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 14, 2012 - After weeks of delays, the St. Louis County Council passed without opposition Tuesday a revised ordinance regulating farmers’ markets. Market managers had complained that the current permits are too expensive and inconvenient for some.

The ordinance needs another vote for final passage.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 28, 2012 - After years of wading through bundles of paperwork and paying steep fees, farmers' market advocates see promise in a push to overhaul regulations in St. Louis County.

But not all the feedback has been positive, with some managers concerned that the proposal could curtail winter markets. And at least one market manager says that the changes, while a step in the right direction, don't go far enough.

(via Flickr/Matthew Black)

Starting next month, passengers who ride MetroLink or Metro buses will be be able to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables at certain transit centers.

The mass transit agency is partnering with the Sappington Farmers Market community program, Mobile Market, to sell locally-grown farm foods in areas where nearby residents have little or no access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

The stops are:

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County is considering changing farmers’ markets ordinances to make it easier for food venders to do business. Instead of a $35 permit which lasts two weeks, the new permits would last seven-months, and cost $75. 

St. Louis County Health Department Director Dolores Gunn says the seven-month length – as opposed to a year – is intended to prevent abuses of the system.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 26, 2012 - After years of wading through bundles of paperwork and paying steep fees, farmers' market advocates see promise in a push to overhaul regulations in St. Louis County.

But not all the feedback has been positive, with some managers concerned that the proposal could curtail winter markets. And at least one market manager says that the changes, while a step in the right direction, don't go far enough.

Apples at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market
Tower Grove Farmers' Market via Facebook

As 2011 comes to a close, St. Louis Public Radio is taking a look back at the things and people that have had a good year. In the St. Louis region, local food--both the production and demand--makes that list.

Belleville's farmers market has strong roots

Jun 30, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 30, 2011 - Putting a face on where local food comes from is an important mission for Marjorie Sawicki. And to that end, Sawicki has been involved with The Old Town Market in Belleville since it opened 10 years ago.

"The market opened up after we took a look at The Tower Grove Market. They had a great variety of food venders and a nice park setting," Sawicki said.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 9, 2009 - Over the last century, America watched its marketplace change from local to national. Big box stores pushed mom & pop shops aside. Unique local restaurants fell victim to snazzy corporate chains. Bright lights and catchy advertising promise convenience and consistency, often at the expense of nutrition and taste. Bigger became better.

But not so quietly any more, a consumer movement is gaining momentum, and society is showing trends of coming full circle, back to local markets.