Posted: October 21st 2016
Author: Autumn Dern
Photographers: Rachel Perry and Sara Treymane
Saturday mornings in Lincoln, Nebraska are full of tailgating, football games, and the Haymarket Farmer’s Market. This farmer’s market covers a little over 5 blocks and includes local bakeries, candy confectionaries, door sign artists, Nebraska clothing stores, and natural food and beauty producers. I have some personal favorites whenever I go, and if you are heading to your local farmer’s market, I highly suggest taking a look at some of these products.
Every farmer’s market I’ve ever been to has a kettle corn stand that makes fresh kettle corn right in front of you. The smell of butter, sugar, and salt trails from this stand and makes you want to buy three bags of the stuff. I try to limit myself to one small bag, but that only lasts me for about five minutes after I get home. The family that owns the kettle corn stand (which is a fairly large company in Nebraska) are always the ones who actually hand-fill the kettle corn bags and work the stand. I can truly appreciate that the busy business owners will take time out of their weekend to make and serve their own product. Make sure to pick up a bag during your next trip!
If I could choose when and where to get all the cherry tomatoes I’ve ever eaten and ever will eat, I would choose to get them during the late summer at a farmer’s market. I’m one of the kinds of people who can get an entire carton of cherry tomatoes and eat them all in one sitting. Luckily, Nebraska is one of the states that has an amazing climate for cherry tomatoes. This is because the humid climate mixed with temperate heat makes for the sweetest tomatoes. The grower that I bought from has a huge farm that was given to him by his father. They also sell fresh beef, potatoes in almost every color, and a beautiful assortment of lettuce, cabbage, kale, and even rutebegas. Farmer’s market tomatoes are the BEST tomatoes.
Assorted Baked Goods
This one is probably the most important thing to pick up at the farmer’s market. The farmer’s market is a conglomeration of bakeries and private sellers that you wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to buy from. The last time I went to the farmer’s market, I purchased some mini pecan pies and an apple strudel from an Amish family, a Bearclaw pastry from a Greek family-own restaurant, and freshly made apple butter from a woman who uses the money she earns to send her grandchildren to college. I highly recommend looking at the baked goods selection when you go to your next farmer’s market.
Like the baked goods, the local candy industry thrives through farmer’s markets. Each time I go, I see homemade caramels, chocolate covered apples, and specialty candies. These vendors have well priced, beautifully made candies and related assortments. When I purchase the caramels, I had a chance to talk to an employee of the company. She talked to me about their process of making their caramels and how they hand-wrap every caramel they sell. Each batch of caramel is taste tested by the owner, who actually made up the recipe for their caramels on accident. But, this is a very happy accident! I highly encourage you to take a look the next time you go to the farmer’s market.