Iowa City Farmers Market announces its start date, reduction in hours

Iowa City Farmers Market, 2016. — Emma Krauss/Little Villag

The Iowa City Farmers Market will open for business this year in the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, May 7. But unlike previous years, when the next session would be on Wednesday, market enthusiasts will have to wait until a full week to go shopping again. That’s because the Iowa City Farmers Markets will only be open on Saturday mornings in 2022.

Wednesdays were canceled not because of a lack of public interest, but because of a lack of interest from vendors. Only 11 vendors had signed up for the Wednesday sessions, by the Feb. 15 deadline to apply. The Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department, which runs the farmers market, had set 15 as the minimum number of vendors needed to make the Wednesday sessions viable.

The Wednesday market “has seen a steady decline in vendors over the last 10 years,” Parks and Recreation Director Juli Seydell Johnson told the Gazette’s Izabela Zaluska in February.

“Credit, debit, and EBT/SNAP (Electronic Benefit Transfer/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) cards are accepted at the Market,” Parks and Recreation said in a news release on Thursday. “Shoppers intending to pay with a card should stop by the centralized information table and swipe their cards for tokens of equal value.”

Face coverings won’t be required at the farmers market this year, but the department asks the maskless to “respect those who do continue to wear masks due to COVID-19.”

There are options for Iowa Citians wanting fresh, local produced fruit, vegetable, dairy and meat during the week, Field to Family’s online farmers market has shifted its pick-up day from Saturday to Thursday. Online ordering each week will be open from 8 a.m. on Monday until noon on Tuesday. Drive-through pick up of orders will be on Thursday afternoon and evening, at Field to Family’s new location in Pepperwood Plaza. Free home delivery of orders is also available through a partnership with CHOMP.

The Coralville Farmers Market will also be open on a weekday evening, but this year it will be Wednesdays from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. instead of Monday evenings.

The Iowa City Farmers Market will be open on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon, from May 7 through October.