Downtown Des Moines is no Chicago or New York, but it has its fair share of tall office buildings, all interconnected by a maze of skywalks. During the day on any given weekday, these corridors are awash with workers. On the weekends things settle down quite a bit, and you could likely walk the skywalks on a Saturday morning without seeing a soul. One notable exception took place this past Saturday, a day we'd been looking forward to for several weeks.
That's Capitol Square, a fairly typical office building in Des Moines, occupied Monday through Friday by lawyers, architects, business people. But on two Saturdays a year it transforms into a vibrant indoor Farmer's Market! Des Moines has one of the best Farmers Markets we've ever seen, and in-season it is one of our top sources for meat and produce that we don't grow ourselves. Fortunately for us, even after most of the harvesting is done, there are Winter Farmers Markets on the weekends before Thanksgiving and Christmas.
They absolutely fill the first two floors of Capitol Square with booths selling everything from handmade crafts and jellies to fall produce and meats. We're always thrilled to see our favorite farmers from the summer markets, especially after a few weeks off for our pantry to run down a bit. This time we were running a little late, so we didn't end up getting another butternut squash like we'd hoped. However, we were able to stock up on chicken from Foxhollow Farm, a great heritage breed poultry farm. Their meat has become our go-to for any chicken recipe, so we grabbed enough to last us for quite some time.
We feel so fortunate to have an event like this right here in our city, knowing from experience that not every locale can support a Farmers Market so late into the year. This gives us a way to continue enjoying fresh local food, and we're already looking forward to the next Winter Market in December. If you're reading from the Des Moines area, be sure to check it out on December 17th. You might be surprised what's still growing this winter. Maybe we'll even see you there!