The allure of a farmers market is strong. You’re buying fresh produce straight from the farmer who grew it (much of the time). It doesn’t get any fresher or better than that. Farmers markets have existed in these parts in one form or another since at least 1779, when farmers came to a flat meadow to sell their goods. That market still exists today — with considerable changes and breaks in continuity — as the Soulard Farmers Market. From those beginnings grew a trend, and from a trend grew a movement. Now more than 30 farmers markets dot the landscape, offering the freshest fruits, most succulent vegetables and more.

— By Dan Neman,