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Crowds return to Iowa City Farmer’s Market, with fewer vendors

Published: May. 2, 2021 at 8:00 AM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa City Farmer’s Market is back in-person this year, with fewer vendors but the same busy crowds.

Natalie Roetlin launched Granola Culture last summer. She’s one of more than 60 vendors signed up for Saturdays this farmer’s market season. Farmer’s Market coordinator Tammy Neumann said the market typically has close to 100 vendors during a normal year. Some regular vendors chose to skip this summer because of the pandemic, giving new vendors like Roetlin the chance to step in.

“I was at the Coralville farmer’s market and then COVID hit, and it got shut down,” Roetlin said, “So now I’m here as a full time vendor for the season. I’m super excited, it’s my first real market season and I’m excited to see how it goes.”

Carrie Wall has had a stand for her business, Ineichen’s Tomatoes, at the Iowa City Farmers Market for decades. After going virtual last year, she said she’s thrilled to be back.

“It was very heartbreaking, and mainly because you don’t get to see your customers. You start to build a relationship that is amazing and you look forward every year,” Wall said.

People can still buy her tomatoes online, which she said is still a popular option so far despite returning in-person.

“I had 92 orders,” Wall said, “I was pretty happy with that.”

Many vendors are still using the online farmer’s market through Field to Family, which was used last summer when the in-person market was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Neumann said she was excited to see people come out for the first day of the farmer’s market.

“It just shows how loyal this community is to this farmers market. It’s kind of a cornerstone. It’s just wonderful that it’s here, it’s back,” Neumann said.

The Iowa City Farmer’s Market will be open Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to Noon, and Wednesdays from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., through October.

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