Kirkwood Farmers Market - Located just east of the train station from Kirkwood Road. From I44, exit Lindbergh Blvd north. Easy parking. Open-air market but covered and thus protected from rain and sun. During the height of the season, the Kirkwood Farmers Market is open 7 days a week but the "best time to shop" is always Saturday morning when farmers and vendors set up shop. In 2007, the market sponsored "Tunes at Ten," adding to the festive feel. Dog friendly!
2008 Schedule: Opens Saturday, April 4th, 2008 with a handful of sellers, including Farrar Out Farm with fresh chicken, eggs and pork and later, with naturally raised lamb. Beginning April 12th, the market anchor Summit Farms opens.
CJ's PRODUCE: Eckerts peaches, Cascade tomatoes for slow-roasted tomatoes. Also other local produce, eggs and cured meats.
FARRAR OUT FARM: A young couple selling chicken, eggs, pork, lard, lamb. If you wonder where to buy a 'whole hog' in St. Louis, this is it, processed and packaged to order. Offseason, brings meat, eggs, honey, maple syrup, pork roasts, lard to Kirkwood monthly. Be sure to sign up for e-mail notices.
While You're Visiting: Stop by Christopher's (charming gift store, across the street), Cornucopia (kitchen store, just a block away) and other Kirkwood shops such as Down by the Station (two blocks away) and the Bug Store (one block).
Clayton Farmers Market - Located in the Straub's parking lot on Forsyth. From I70, take Ladue Road exit, turn east toward Clayton. Back again under able hands of market master Sarah Vickers. A good market; often protein heavy in 2007, also St. Louis' most expensive market. Market is located on an asphalt parking lot and out in the sun so tends to be very hot during height of summer. Produce vendors run out so best to shop early. Fun events nearly every week. Parking is tight in the shaded lot west of the Straubs store and street parking is very limited street. Dog UNfriendly!
2008 Schedule: Opens Saturday May 24th, runs May 24th - October 25, 2008, 8:30-12:30
While You're Nearby
Visit Kitchen Conservatory, St. Louis' great kitchen store and cooking school.
Tower Grove Farmers Market Located in the beautiful and historic Tower Grove Park near the Botanical Garden. Be sure to visit early on Saturday mornings for this market sells out fast. Completely open air but nearly always cool thanks to surrounding trees and greenspace. Warm and welcoming. Great music from local artists in the pavillion. Wading pool for kids and grown-ups with hot feet. This was my favorite market in late 2006 and my second favorite in 2007. Each week, the market features a few craft artists and other special events. How about a free yoga class?! Dog friendly!
2008 Schedule: Opens Saturday, May 10, 2008.
Centennial Farms Many local apple varieties, some hard-to-find vegetables.
Hinkebein Hills Farm Excellent sausage; the dog loves the real bones, the price can't be beat!
Maplewood Farmers Market A much-appreciated midweek market. Runs 4 - 7pm at the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. Many of the Tower Grove farmers also make this market. Great mix of fresh produce, meat, local cheeses, flowers, honey. Parking lot can fill fast. Completely open air though with if weather is inclement, some times moves inside. Often live music and after-market events.
Favorites All the vendors, really are great
GOATSBEARD FARM Fresh goat cheese from a small family farm near Columbia and a herd of just fifty goats. Also at Whole Foods and the Wine & Cheese Place.
CENTENNIAL FARMS Many local apple varieties, some hard-to-find vegetables.
OZARK FOREST MUSHROOMS Organic, locally grown shiitake and oyster mushrooms.
Soulard Market Since 1838, the great-great granddaddy of St Louis farmers markets and a St. Louis institution. Year-round source of fresh produce, local meat and spices plus 'flea market' booths. Despite all the new farmers markets, Soulard remains my favorite market since moving to St. Louis in 1993. It is open several days a week but really worth visiting only on Saturday mornings when local farmers join the produce vendors. If local produce is the objective, you do really have to learn your way around the market, figuring out who sells local produce and who doesn't. It is the most 'European' style market in St. Louis and a favorite among the immigrant community. Large market with four wings. Tends to bone-cold in winter and steamy-sticky in summer. No dogs allowed.
Favorites (map of Soulard booth locations)
Scharf Farm: Asparagus, strawberries, cherry tomatoes.
Soulard Spice Shop: Fresh spices at great prices. Be sure to 'take a number' when you first arrive.
Kruse Gardens: Mostly organic vegetables, often unusual.
Nolte Farms: Vegetables.
Seibert Meats: Gorgeous Canadian bacon.
Ferguson Farmers Market Named "Best Farmers Market in St. Louis" in 2007 by the RFT. I visited just twice, both late in the season and once they were closed. (Closed? Yes, be forewarned, the market is closed for an annual community festival, in 2008 on September 29th.) Great relaxed feel. Entirely open air. Many of the "farmers" are one- and two-acre gardeners right in the city limits. Great prices.
2008 Schedule: Opens Saturday, April 26th, 8am - noon.
What's "Local" and in Season in St. Louis-Area Farmers Markets
MARCH: Winter greens.
APRIL: Spring greens and lettuces. Meat. Plantings.
MAY: Gorgeous asparagus, amazing home-grown broccoli (which needs another name because it tastes nothing like supermarket broccoli), beautiful arugula, lots of fresh radishes. Home-grown strawberries.
JUNE: Lovely salad greens; last of the home-grown strawberries; a couple of weeks of blackberries; rhubarb!; kohlrabi and turnips; the very last of the asparagus; the very first of homegrown tomatoes! beautiful spring onions; fresh garlic; lots of fresh basil and potted herbs.
JULY: Fresh garlic. Peaches. Cherry tomatoes. Summer squash. Beans. Blackberries. Raspberries.
AUGUST: Tomatoes. Local apples. Summer squash. Kohlrabi. Beans. Potatoes. Beets.
SEPTEMBER: Tomatoes. Apples. Sunchokes. Peppers galore. Beets.