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Iowa Capitol Complex Farmers’ Market opens

Capitol complex farmers' market east of Iowa Capitol. Photo by Ben Nuelle.

by Ben Nuelle LISTEN: World of Agriculture 7-27-16

Des Moines residents now have another option to buy locally grown produce…and it’s near the Capitol every Tuesday.

The first-ever Iowa Capitol Complex farmers’ market kicked off Tuesday afternoon. Joe Rothman of Autumn’s Garden worked his booth as customers came and went. Most of what he sells is tomatoes.

“I’ve got about 14 or 15 different types of tomatoes. [They] range from beef steak. I’ve got a yellow tomatoes and paste tomatoes.”

Rothman is military veteran who grows his produce in downtown Des Moines. Something the Director of Department of Administrative Services Janet Phipps wanted when creating this new farmers’ market.

“It’s limited to those vendors who have Iowa home-grown or Iowa made products. We put that limitation on there. As you can see, there’s a lot of them.”

Around 15 or so venders from wicker baskets to sweet corn. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says Iowans love their locally grown produce.

“We all recognize we grew up with it a lot of times in our own garden we were tending for our moms or somebody right outside our house and [realize] how fresh it really is. Certainly we can get great stuff from our grocery stores and other ways but there is something very special about products that are picked today.”

The Capitol hill farmers’ market is open from three to five every Tuesday afternoon through September 27th. It’s located on E. 13th Street between E. Walnut and E. Grand Avenue in Des Moines.