Farmer’s Markets Start Opening in Cape Girardeau
Get ready for some fresh fruits and vegetables. Cape Girardeau’s farmers’ market season is about to begin, starting this week with the Cape Farmers’ Market at the West Park Mall parking lot.
The Cape Farmers’ Market will open this Thursday April 17th and will go from noon until 5 p.m. every Thursdays until November 20th.
Marilyn Peters, president of this market, said the market was located at the Plaza Galleria parking lot for 27 years. The lot was sold last winter, so the market made the move to the West Park Mall back parking lot.
“It’s a nice big parking lot. The back of the mall doesn’t have any stores that enters from there so there’s plenty of room for parking and it’s easy access to get in and out of the parking lot,” said Peters.
Peters added she has received a lot of positive feedback so far concerning this new location, and she said it much easier for customers to get to the market. New vendors have shown interest in taking part in the market, so Peters believes this could help expand it and allow the Cape Farmers’ Market to become a little larger.
Between 300 and 500 visitors usually come to the farmers’ market each week, depending on the fruits and vegetables in season. Twenty-six spots are sold to vendors on a yearly basis, and then daily spots are available to fill in since some vendors don’t come during the entire season.
“We will be mainly an agricultural market, anything to do with agriculture, vegetables, fruits, honey. We have meat, barbecue, some food, some wonderful bake goods and also I think the best donuts in town,” Peters said.
Buying products from a farmers’ market has its perks and according to Peters because it allows customers to interact with the person who grew the product.
“You can find out what kind of chemicals might have been used on it, and some of our people are selling chemical free products,” she said.
It can also be the occasion to discuss recipes, and get some advice on how to use certain products.
Cape Farmer’s Market mainly offers a large variety of agricultural and food products and do not sell many arts and crafts. For that, there will be the Cape Riverfront Market starting on May 3rd.
Ross Peterson, market manager at the Cape Riverfront Market in downtown Cape Girardeau, said this market will take place as usual on every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to noon until the end of October.
The Cape Riverfront Market has about 25 seasonal vendors. On average, the market is visited by about 400 people but on very busy summer days, it can go up to 800 or 1000.
This market holds a few features that make it different from the other farmers’ market in town, like live music, cooking demonstrations and also a free program for children.
“We have a kids program called the Cape Marketeers Club, that’s on the second and fourth Saturdays starting in May and going through August. It’s an educational program for kids to learn about growing and biology, chemistry and nutrition,” Peterson said.
Every time the children participate in the program they will get two $1 tokens to spend at the market fruit and vegetables stands.
The Cape Riverfront Market also have a SNAP/EBT accessibility, which is the former food stamps program so people can swipe their card there and get tokens to spend at the qualifying vendors.