I Love Soulard Market
I love to write about it’s stalls stashed with fresh fruit and vegetables. To photograph the colorful produce and engage in small talk with vendors. I love to chit-chat with total strangers about what they’re buying and how they plan to cook it.
So when Lucy was in town and said she wanted to visit the old street market, I was on board.
The oldest farmers’ market west of the Mississippi started in 1779, before the Louisiana Purchase. Farmers in horse drawn wagons gathered in a meadow to sell their excess produce. Today there are more than 140 vendors, selling everything from fruit to fennel to fiddlehead ferns.
Sights, Sites, and Sounds of Soulard Market
If you’re tired of apples and berries, give these exotic fruits a chance: star fruit, dragon fruit, rambutans, lychee, pepino melon, passion fruit, pineapple glow, kumquats, or jack fruit.
Lucy checks to see if the heavy green orb is a bowling ball or a watermelon. Fortunately, it was a seedless melon and quite a good one at that—far better than I expected this early.
Farmers’ Market Shopping Tips
- Bring along tote bags or a collapsible cart on wheels.
- Have small denomination bills in your pocket for easy access when making a purchase.
- Talk to sellers about their produce and to fellow shoppers.
- Be open to a culinary odyssey. Try something new.
- Come early, especially if the market is small. Although at Soulard you can get some of the best deals toward the end of the sales day.
- Go with someone who enjoys new cultural experiences. Or a child. Have fun.