Bicycling to the Farmer’s Market

A bicycle trip to the farmer’s market is a perfect way to begin the weekend. Fresh air, exercise, a feeling of community and local food. Saturday morning, Greg and I met up with Arielle (of the newly-formed Bicycle Goddess Brigade) to ride our bikes to Chicago’s Green City Market.

What a happy scene – dozens of bicycles were locked up outside the market and many bicycling families went by with kids in bike seats, trailers and on their own bikes. In general, I think people who ride bikes are the type of people who shop at farmer’s markets. Also, a bike trip to the farmer’s market is a pleasurable weekend activity for people who bike only occasionally.

In the evening, we enjoyed rhubarb compote that Arielle made. We’d never eaten rhubarb before, which surprised her, since apparently it grows on the side of the road in her native Washington. Then we all biked to The Hideout, where Arielle played the fiddle and sang with the Bubbly Creek Bluegrass Band. So much awesomeness in one person! :)

Total daily mileage = 14.

How is the farmer’s market scene where you live? Do you have access to fresh local food and, if so, do you see a lot of fellow bicyclists there?

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30 thoughts on “Bicycling to the Farmer’s Market

  1. Kara says:

    I can’t wait for our farmer’s market to start again. It really is a good one and tons of people show up. It even has a bike valet!

  2. Mari Lynch says:

    I love biking to our farmers markets, and I also love our various bike valet options in Monterey County. The two haven’t been combined here yet–what a great idea, thanks, Kara!

    For anyone bicycling in Monterey County, see “Farmers Markets” section of Tips for Tourists [and others] Bicycling Monterey at http://www.bicyclingmonterey.com

  3. Tinker says:

    The Farmer’s market here is in Austin, proper, and requires a trip down town. There is supposed to be a new one starting up in Cedar Park, the next town over and contiguous to us, but it in an awkward location, Which really means I don’t go and I’m curious but not dedicated enough to make the 45 mile round trip into Austin, or the 20 mile trip through Cedar Park, along a lot of high speed roadways with no shoulders to speak of. It would be a matter of taking my life into my hands, and I’m doubting the trip would be a lot of fun.

  4. Emily says:

    What a wonderful way to spend a morning! Time Out Chicago recently had an article on all the farmers markets in Chicago, sooo many! http://chicago.timeout.com/articles/restaurants-bars/85350/2010-farmers-market-guide-and-map

    • Dottie says:

      This list is great! I’ll have to check out the Southport Green Market when it opens next month.

      • Maria says:

        Lucky you! Our farmers market hasn’t started up yet. There’s an indoor farmers market year round that I’ve never been to but you may have just inspired me to check it out!

        We started a rhubarb patch this year but I’m not sure how long it will take before we can eat from it. One of G’s most specialist of specialties is strawberry rhubarb pie. It’s so very, very nom-worthy!

  5. Mickey Zoom says:

    Here in Britain, farmers markets used to be a Big Thing, but they’re kind of dying out it seems. We have a small farmers market once a month, and I always cycle down and sample the jam and cakes! Unfortunately, most of the people we see end up clamouring into cars at the end of the day to drive a mile or two home.:-(

  6. Our local farmers’ market is only 1.2 miles away, but there’s a big hill coming back — about 200 ft elevation gain! I haven’t been able to manage it without walking as yet. So I’m disinclined to bike there, but I always feel guilty for not doing it.

  7. Carolyn I. says:

    We have one here too on Saturday mornings. I couldn’t stay very long at it this weekend, because I went geocaching with friends…but I

    I try to make it down when I can though, it’s nice biking to it, and there are a lot of people that bike to it in PG also. There’s a new cafe there with tables outside, so that would be quite an enjoyable morning! And of course, when the vegetables and fruits come out later on then it’s great for getting local fresh produce. Yum yum.

    I love rubarb strawberry pie!! Rubarb grows here too, even wild.
    s neat wondering around those. It’s great that’s its a world wide event.

  8. Cosmo says:

    We are so spoiled for Farmers Markets here in LA. There is one almost every day of the week somewhere around town all year long. I walk to one every Saturday with Miss S. There are a couple within a short bike ride on Sundays that we haven’t made it to since we started walking and biking last year. It isn’t always easy to get a 3 year old dressed an out the door with time enough for shopping before they close. We get great cherries and peaches and avocados and beets.

  9. Daniella says:

    Love this! Beautiful photos… The farmer’s market in my town is a little far from where I live, but I’m determine to go at least once on the bike this season… We’ll see!

  10. dukiebiddle says:

    Rhubarb – for whatever reason – is more popular in New England/Canada/Northern fringe states. I’m not sure if that’s an environmental or cultural thing, but growing up in Maryland I never tried it until my late twenties. Speaking of which, why did my Mainer grandmother never make rhubarb pie? Our respective grandmothers have a lot of ‘splaining to do.

  11. Jim says:

    We don’t have a Farmers Market within bicycling range, but we do have three farm markets(single farm market) within a 10 mile radius of our village, and we delight in our weekend rides to stock up on fresh locally grown produce. We are also blessed with 3 excellent bakeries and an apiary all within our cycling area. An extra treat is to watch the disbelief on peoples faces when we load up the bikes for our trip home. “Are you REALLY going to carry all that stuff all the way home on your bikes??!!” Yup.

  12. Trisha says:

    RHUBARB! Want. :) It grew in my backyard in MN when I was a kid. CSA share is taking the place of the farmer’s market for me these days.

  13. Neighbourtease says:

    So funny, we are in the country this weekend and I just came in from cutting a bunch of rhubarb to make a crumble.

    NYC farmer’s markets are wonderful, though, and quite complete. It’s nice to remain in touch with the seasons, though that’s much easier for me to say now than it was in March when I would have hit a gran in the face for something truly green and crisp instead of another apple or potato.

    Lots of bikes always at the markets.

  14. Maria says:

    Oh, and we get fruit share in the summer from a local CSA. Fabulous local, organic fruit all summer long! We have a very extensive garden at home and once it starts producing, we only have to buy a few things here and there. I used to do organic veggie delivery during our non-growing months but didn’t this year. Our closest grocer has an excellent organic/local when possible selection.

    And bikes….yes, yes, yes. The farmers markets are absolutely jam packed with bikes!

    • Dottie says:

      I should look into the CSA concept.

      • Catherine says:

        I did that last summer and while I liked it in concept, in practice it was difficult. There was always WAY too much food (and I got a half-share) and the pickup time/location was not so easy for me–even with my car. I didn’t do it again this year because it just wouldn’t work on a bike AND I really felt like I wasted a lot of food. Also, mine didn’t have fruits and berries and such so I was going to the farmers market every week anyway.

        • Maria says:

          It certainly can be overwhelming! The fruits are easy for us (two kids) but when we first started the veggie delivery it was really tough to incorporate all the veggies into our menu. However, it wasn’t a CSA but instead a to-your-door delivery service. We set up the coop through my office and the organization got 10% of the proceeds. Anyway, you could go to the website and make adjustments to your order prior to delivery day. We compost pretty much all our compostable food so that always makes me feel a little better about any food we don’t get to – knowing that it’s going back into our garden.

  15. cycler says:

    Ooh- Rhubarb! Makes me want to make Rhubarb sauce, which is about the same as making cranberry sauce from scratch. Our farmers markets don’t start for another couple of weeks, but I’ll be picking up my CSA share again by bike when they do!

  16. Catherine says:

    I am proud to say that I live a mere 6 colonial-sized (meaning “short”) city blocks from the oldest farmers market in the country–in Alexandria, Virginia. By city charter, it operates year-round (though things are fairly lean in the winter as you may imagine) and is quite the hot spot for locals and tourists alike. While George himself may not have been working the stands, it used to boast harvest from Mount Vernon and other, less well known local farms.

    There’s another one just outside the Metro station (10 blocks the other direction) that operates on Wednesday evenings, but it’s not nearly as big or developed.

    Recently, I’ve been a bit of a no-show at the market, but that’s because I’ve been enjoying my Friday nights far too much to have productive Saturday mornings, but in my more responsible days it was almost always part of my weekly routine. Will get right back on that ASAP.

    We’re really more of a walking kind of town than a cycling kind of town (largely due to the relatively short distances and the fact that almost everyone has a dog), but there’s usually a decent showing of bikes.

  17. Scott says:

    Hey, I cooked with rhubarb for the first time this weekend too! Ours went into a rhubarb and strawberry pie.

    One of the reasons I want to move to Logan Sq is for the farmers’ market and the Dill Pickle coop.

  18. Dave says:

    One of the things I really, really, really, really love about Portland is the farmers’ markets. I think there are 4 or 5 within about 3 miles of our apartment (including one that takes up a large part of the campus of Portland State University), and 2 or 3 within 1.5 miles.

    Once they start up in the Spring, one of our favorite Sunday morning routines is to ride over and stock up on some stuff for the next few days, as well as some good staples like eggs, bacon, etc. The farmers market closest to us starts up this weekend, we’re already itching to go!

    It gives you a great opportunity to try stuff you might not otherwise too – just pick something that looks interesting, and then go find a recipe for it later. Plus you meet other people who live in your neighborhoods, and you get to meet the people who are growing your food.

    Rhubarb is delicious, and I think grows natively here in Oregon as well. We had some rhubarb compote the other night with a vanilla custard we got at a restaurant, and I’ve been wanting to try making it ever since. Maybe if we get some rhubarb this weekend… :)

  19. Kyong says:

    Your dress! Where did you get it?? Love it! & it looks so comfy.

  20. Lia says:

    Great post! I especially like the picture of Arielle in her helmet. It feels like every fun, glamorous shot of cycling involves *not* wearing one, so I’m always happy to see one where we helmeted girls are representing.

  21. diana says:

    lovely photos! farmers market+bikes=awesome!

  22. Holly says:

    Here in Vancouver, BC, Canada, our local farmer’s markets are just opening for the season. We have bicycle valets at each market who provide bike parking and security while you browse the local produce. It’s great!

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