Iowans who love the taste of farm-fresh sweet corn, tomatoes and other just-picked veggies already know where to go — as this is Iowa Farmers Market Week. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says there are more than 220 farmers markets across the state, and you’re never too far away from one.

Northey says, “They’re one or two or sometimes three times a week in a location so you kind of have to pay attention to know where it’s at, but boy, once people get going, it becomes something they always want to get to and see what new products are there, meet and see friends and just get caught up on what’s going on.”

Northey says farmers markets sell more than just produce, but that is the number-one lure. “The produce and the changing of the seasons is certainly one of the things that draws folks there,” Northey says.

“When strawberries show up or when sweet corn shows up, we see a surge in traffic but there’s also baked goods and crafts and other kinds of things, depending on what each market has.” About a year ago, the state ag department launched a free downloadable smart phone app which offers a searchable database of Iowa’s farmers markets.

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By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City