9 vendors to check out at Tower Grove Farmers’ Market this summer
Hundreds of St. Louisans flock to the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market most Saturday mornings to stock up on locally grown produce and sustainably raised meat, eggs and dairy purchased directly from the farmers. They also indulge in impromptu picnics, snacking on everything from pastries and breakfast burritos to international street food and a local brew (a coffee and a beer, please and thank you). With more than 100 vendors and an abundance of local comestibles to consume now or later, go early, go often and go hungry. Here are some of our favorite vendors at your Favorite Farmers Market.
This certified-organic Edwardsville farm trucks in a wide array of vegetables (and some fruits) to stock any produce drawer. Their candy-sweet Sungold cherry tomatoes are an especially popular treat. Early in the season, they’re the go-to spot to grab heirloom plant starters to set up your own backyard garden for success. Do you need three types of rosemary and four types of hot peppers? Yes, you do.
Ozark Forest Mushrooms
This Midwest mycological powerhouse is well known for its umami-packed shiitakes, but it also cultivates several varieties you won’t find in any produce aisle: fluffy, shreddable lion’s mane; delicate fans of black pearl oysters; and meaty, thick-stemmed trumpets perfect for scoring, marinating and grilling.
Three Rivers Community Farm
Amy Cloud and Jose Lara use organic and regenerative growing practices at their Elsah, Illinois, farm, and their stand overflows with the colorful results: a rainbow of peppers, tomatoes, root vegetables and greens are on constant rotation. Peep their Instagram for a preview of what’s coming each week and get there early to snag the most beautiful heirloom tomato varieties.
Harvey Yoder is a cash- or market token-only vendor who offers rotating seasonal fruits and veggies produced with little to no pesticides or other chemicals. Don’t miss the upcoming summer abundance of blueberries, juicy watermelon and sweet corn so heavenly, you need only shuck, trim the top and devour.
Amaiz-ing Cakes Latin Food
This stand purveys generous portions of Venezuelan street food like arepas and pepitas to order. Don’t miss the massive cachapa: a soft, buttery sweet corn pancake enfolding an inch-thick slice of salty Venezuelan farmers cheese griddled to gooey perfection.
Restaurants across St. Louis source supple, fresh pita from the Alderie family’s Cham Bakery. Buy it direct at the market, along with expertly prepared Syrian fare like thick, sumac-topped hummus; fatayer stuffed with spinach, walnuts and pomegranate seeds; and za’atar bread rich with olive oil and a thick layer of the Middle Eastern spice blend.
Facebook: Cham Bakery
Field to Fire
Fans of Kounter Kulture and Songbird are no stranger to chef and co-owner Mike Miller’s way with locally sourced produce. With Field to Fire, Miller offers a rotating menu of about 15 prepared food items like yellow tomato gazpacho, green tea soba noodle salad, and larger format meals to feed a crowd, like pasta con broccoli and lemongrass beef.
A Little Something Extra
Forget a dozen red roses or dyed carnations – this urban flower farm grows stunning florals in an array of textures and colors in Dutchtown. Select a pre-made bouquet or build your own from the selection of that week’s blooms. Owners Mimo Davis and Miranda Duschack have plenty of tips to get the most out of your dahlias, delphiniums and snapdragons.
Farmers markets are ideal people- and pupper-watching places, and those very good dogs deserve a little something, too. Pastry chef Sarah Osborn Blue takes spent grain from local breweries and turns them into tasty treats for your dog – or the one in line behind you.
Readers’ Choice Favorite Farmers Market
Tower Grove Farmers’ Market, Tower Grove Park, St. Louis, tgfarmersmarket.com