Iowa’s oldest Farmers’ Market located near City Hall between 13th and 11th Streets in Dubuque is the destination of choice each Saturday morning from 7 a.m. to noon.
Local businesses, locally grown food, coffee, wine, arts and crafts, flowers, live music and breakfast lure visitors and natives alike to this family friendly outing. More than 100 vendors guarantee an enjoyable morning.
The Market has long been a part of Dubuque’s history. In 1858 when the City Hall opened, farmers backed up their wagons to the long windows on the side of the building and sold their wares from inside. When remodeling in 1879 converted the lower level to offices and shortened the windows, the vendors returned to outdoor sales. Despite a decrease in interest in the 1970s, the Market reinvigorated to become a community event growing larger each year.
When Tom Sanders and his family unload produce each Saturday, they are continuing a Muntz/Sanders family affair now extending to the sixth generation. 20 different varieties of apples are their primary product but other fruits and vegetables round out the selections. Jonathon apples are the most popular especially for sauce and pie. Their applesauce recipe is simple but delicious. After paring and peeling apples, put them through a ricer. Next add a tiny amount of water and cook until desired consistency with sugar and cinnamon added to taste.
A newer vendor to the Market, the Joe King family of Platteville bring a huge variety of vegetables, fruits and homemade jellies. This Amish family has been serving the community’s food needs since 2012. Mrs. King stated that red beets, carrots, and rhubarb jelly are their best sellers. To make her beets, simply grate, cook in salted water, drain and add butter.
Two years ago Steve Heiken began coming to the Market from Wyoming, Iowa. He brings produce, jams and jellies. Elderberry and ground cherry jellies are among the heritage type fruits they use. He recommends using their okra to thicken homemade gumbo. They also offer crocheted market bags, boot cuffs, changing pads, burp clothes and many other articles made by his wife.
Only six weeks ago Paula Esser became one of the newest vendors. She sells beautifully decorated filled cupcakes one week and delicious cheesecakes the next. These cupcakes are homemade from scratch as are the cheesecakes. Her most popular is the raspberry almond wedding cupcake, but the chocolate sea salt caramel is not to be missed.
The Dubuque Farmers’ Market is an event for the entire community. Enjoy!