Farmer’s Market is a Van Camper’s Paradise

One of the blessings we enjoy in Iowa is the abundance of locally grown food.  Obviously, California has far more salad type items but Iowa has a nice balance of produce, fresh organic beef, chicken, and pork, as well as many baked goods made by farm wives and Amish bakers.  Nobody needs to go hungry in Iowa!

There is also a refreshing mix of cultures in this area.  Iowa City is the most diverse community in this state thanks to the University of Iowa.  We have virtually all nationalities represented in this relatively small area.  The farmer’s market reflects the rich diversity.  Though there are many larger markets, none in this area is more diverse.

I visited the vendors today and wanted to share some pictures and descriptions of what there was to see and do.

Perfect!  Just the right color(s)… Hopefully they will look at the shirt and not the bad haircut.

Today I decided to get a new tie dyed shirt.  The local artist, Mary, makes the most beautiful garments. With the onset of cold weather, I bought both a long and short sleeved shirt.  I’m also going to order one for a Christmas present for my sister.  Tie dye is soothing to look at.  So many people have complimented the tie dye shirts purchased from Mary’s company, Dyed Happy.  She is as colorful and fun as the shirts she makes.  Talking with her is a sheer delight.

From Mary’s booth I immediately went to the spring roll people.  There is an Oriental older man and woman who make the best spring rolls in the world.  They are the type that is rolled in rice paper and are not fried.  Talk about healthy.  I always get the peanut dipping sauce along with a little dash of hot sauce.  What a treat!

Okay, so I ate four of them but it was worth a little bump in blood sugar.  There are a lot of worse things to eat!  Carb counting doesn’t apply at Farmer’s market.

The next stop was to get some cheese.  There is a small farm about twenty minutes from where I live.  They milk their own cows and make homemade cheese.  I bought some mozzarella cheese curds to snack on.  Though not completely low in fat, there is a lot of protein and they are quite tasty.  Here is a picture of the booth from the folks with the awesome cheeses…

  Spreadable cheese, cheese curds, slices of cheese, it’s all good.
The next stop was a vegetable stand that had a variety of hot peppers.  The cayenne peppers looked absolutely beautiful.  I bought a package just to play around with… Produce is beautiful… maybe even sexy.
Last but not least, I had to find something to bring back to Dad’s for the kitties.  They are getting fat enough as it is eating all the seafood I consume but I always try to bring a treat back to them for putting up with all the disappearances…  Just around the corner from the peppers was the the perfect gift… A catnip rat.  There were two options:  a mouse or, for a couple bucks more, a rat.  They are stuffed with fresh catnip.  That should make the cats happy.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be a cat and lay around and eat and sleep all the time only to have your owner give you some stuff to get high?  What a life.  ** UPDATE **  The kitties loved the catnip rat.  All of them took a “toke” on the catnip and after getting a little wild, each zonked out for the afternoon.  No munchies that I could tell.
It was a fun trip today but a little bittersweet.  We’re starting the fall season and the farmer’s markets will slow down and vanish as the weather gets colder, but there are plenty of activities coming up:  leaf viewing trips, ice fishing, you name it.  It’s going to be a pleasant fall season.  Another harsh winter is coming but it is only as tough as what you make of it.  I tell people that if you have a camper van you don’t need Prozac.  Life is good and if you don’t believe it, you’re parked in the wrong place.  Get out and enjoy yourself!

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

2 Responses to Farmer’s Market is a Van Camper’s Paradise

  1. Wolf says:

    Loved this blog Bradford ! Keep up the great job my friend !

    Born in Iowa / Raised in Florida !!!

  2. Bradford says:

    Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂