Oskaloosa Farmers Market In Season

Fresh produce at the Oskaloosa Farmers Market 2014.

Fresh produce at the Oskaloosa Farmers Market 2014.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Veggies, jam, flowers and many other homegrown and homemade items from the garden await the area shoppers on Tuesday and Saturday.

On Tuesdays from 4-6pm, the market can be found on the east side of the square. On Saturdays from 8 to 11am, the Musco parking lot, west of MCG plays host.

Sandi Fell is helping to coordinate the Oskaloosa Farmers Market this year, and waited with whistle in hand for the clock to strike 4pm. “They’re (vendors) excited. It’s a whole new game. Look at all these people we have here,” says Fell, as she looks around to a good size crowd. “It’s great.”

“The Ruritans had been running the market for 40 years,” says Fell. The job became something the club wasn’t ready to do any longer, so they reached out for someone new to take the reigns. The Ruritans spoke with the Master Gardner’s Club, but they were unsure they would have the needed help to accomplish the goal.

Fell is part of the Master Gardner’s Club and became aware of the project. She decided that “if the Gardner’s didn’t do it, I would volunteer,” Fell said.

So Fell held a meeting with the vendors and asked if there was interest in the farmers market yet. They responded with a yes. “We went from there,” said Fell.

The first and largest hurdle for the year was paying for the insurance to host the event. The Mahaska County Sheriff’s Posse stepped up and covered the cost of the insurance.

Some different activities will take place this year, as the Farmers Market will be teaming up with the Oskaloosa Blue Zones Project to help provide different activities. ‘Bike to the Market’ is one such activity that the Blue Zones Project is encouraging.

“We see the value in the Farmers Market,” said Miranda Cummings, Engagement Lead for the Blue Zones Project® in Oskaloosa. “We want it to thrive in the community and if we can help bring activities, bring different things to the farmers market, add an incentive to go, and while they are here, get some fresh produce along the way, then I think we did our part.”

The Oskaloosa Blue Zones are encouraging people to ride their bicycles to the farmers market. When you arrive on your bike to the Blue Zones table, they will give the rider a draw string bag to help haul their fresh produce home.

Oskaloosa Farmers Market is taking place on Tuesdays from 4-6pm, on the east side of the square. On Saturdays from 8 to 11am, at the Musco parking lot.

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