June is here, and as National Fruit and Vegetable Month there's no better time to head out to your local farmers' markets or plan a vacation or road trip around one of the biggest and best in the country. Sunshine, bargains, and great people-watching all define one of summer's favorite pastimes. Here are five of the best:
St. Paul Farmers' Market
St. Paul, Minnesota
The calm Midwest city of St. Paul comes alive at the local market where the St. Paul Growers' Association allows only fresh, locally grown produce to be sold. The market also features bakery goods, cheese, poultry, buffalo, venison, beef, pork, lamb, maple syrup, eggs, bagel sandwiches, honey, organic plants and produce, flowers, plants, shrubs, and many other items. The market sets up in various places around town and is open every day except Monday. Late May/early June sees weather in the low 80s—perfect for outdoor shopping.
Dane Country Farmers' Market
Known to be the largest producer-only farmers' market in America, the Dane Country Market takes place every Saturday and Wednesday with more than 150 different vendors. Located in downtown Madison, it is easy to bike or walk to, but if driving is necessary, parking will never cost more than $4. The late winter's market has a Saturday Winter Market Breakfast—a full meal made from only farmers' market products. The menu changes each week and includes live music for only $7.
Boulder County Farmers' Market
In Boulder, all products marked "organic" have been certified by the State of Colorado. Along with the ordinary veggies, the market has many unique items such as golden beets, white eggplant, purple beans, seedless yellow watermelon, and European lettuces. The market is open every Saturday until early November, and parking is free in all the public parking garages. The market is open for four hours on Wednesdays—4 PM to 8 PM. Along with great scenery, the Boulder County Farmers' Market is said to be one of the friendliest markets in the world.
Portland Farmers' Market
Portland's market has quickly become one of the biggest tourist draws of the city. Held every day except Tuesday and Friday, the market has made great strides to reduce waste and live greener, as well as provide its produce to low income shoppers. Local chefs give lessons and advice on how to turn natural products into delicious meals, and music concerts are held on select days.
Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market
San Francisco, California
Located at the foot of the popular Market Street in San Francisco, the market is the center of the city, connecting San Fran's outlying neighborhoods. Easily accessed by the foot, bike, and the historic trolley cars that stop just out front, the market is a beehive of activity. This farmers market offers more than just fresh fruits and vegetables, it has everything from antiques and wine to flowers and chocolate.
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