There’s a Farmers Market somewhere in Iowa every day of the week. The two markets in Ames are set to merge, as spokeswoman Mary Rose Anderson says organizers share their support for farming and other local creative work. They take it a step further — it’s not just community-supported culture, and economics. Spokeswoman Mary Rose Anderson says the Ames farmers market has rules that are stricter than some others. They don’t allow “brokering” or reselling food or merchandise bought somewhere else — everything sold at the market must have been grown or made by the vendor. And vendors must be local, with some exceptions. Anderson says they must live within a circle that contains Ames and Story County, to sell at the Ames Farmers Markets. If you’re outside the circle you can apply to sell something, but it must contribute to the market some product that a local person doesn’t already sell. As as example she says a vendor from Cedar Falls sells fresh-cut flowers, a niche nobody local is filling. A couple days each month, the Ames Public Library presents a “Read-to-Me” series, and there’s also a storytelling series and an open-mike performance once a month. Joe Lynch is a vendor, and the president of the Ames Downtown Farmers Market. Intuitively, he says, people understand that by supporting famers-market vendors they’re supporting local people and the local economy. He points out your money stays in town and does your economy a lot more good than if you shopped at a chain store, supporting a large corporation. Lynch says having producers sell directly to their consumers is a way to “put a face on our produce,” and says there’s something going on between him and his customers, who appreciate his hard work and the quality of the food he offers. The Ames Farmers Markets are downtown Thursday afternoons and at the North Grand Mall on Saturdays.
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