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The Gazette KCRG
Posted May 6, 2012
East Side Farmers’ Market kicks off first day

IOWA CITY- A new farmers’ market hopes to draw business and buzz.  It’s called the East Side Farmers’ Market located in a developing area of Iowa City.  The founder says it’s a chance for people to avoid the rush at larger markets, but still get the goods.

“I love buying fresh plants and handmade items,” shopper Audrey Saftlas.

It’s the perfect Sunday morning activity for Coralville’s Audrey Saftlas and her dog Josie after getting a new handmade dog collar at the East Side Farmers’ Market in Iowa City.

“The other ones are quite crowded and difficult to get to,” said Saftlas.

Both the downtown Iowa City and Cedar Rapids farmers’ markets see thousands of people each season.  They’re so popular hundreds of vendors sit on a waiting list.

“Why don’t we start a farmers market and we can allow those people who are waiting to have some place to vend,” said East Side Farmers’ Market Founder Ethel Madison.

And that’s exactly what Ethel Madison did.  Sunday kicked off the first ever market on the city’s east side with vendors like Oak Hill Acres.

“Everything we have is certified organic.  We start the year off with bedded flowers and plants, vegetable plants like peppers and tomatoes,” said Oak Hill Acres Vendor Joseph Nosler.

It’s a humble beginning for the East Side Farmers’ Market, but, there’s plenty of room to grow and expand with more vendors and shoppers. 

“I like talking and hanging out and you can say hey this is what we’ve got and offer them something good,” said Nosler.

And not just business, for Ethel Madison it’s an opportunity to utilize open land to provide a service for the community.

“A wonderful time for people to get their families together ride their bikes and walk up,” said Madison.

The market is Sundays 10 am to 1 pm and Fridays 3:30pm to 6 pm until the end of October.  If you’re interested in attending or being a vendor at the market click here for more information.

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