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9/01/2009 10:58:00 AM

"Hitting the Market"

Farmer's market veteran, Jeanie Clement, is one of the first eager customers to arrive every week.

"Normally I bring a big huge wagon," Clement said.

She isn't just picking up produce.

"We hurry and get everything we need, and then we wander over and get bracelets and necklaces, earrings," she said.

Downtown's massive market has transformed over the 30 plus years since its inception. You can find everything from handmade jewelry and more to gourmet food that's prepared while you watch. Richard Sparks with the Utah Department of Agriculture says there's something special about buying locally.

"Here, you're getting fresh vegetables that were picked even early this morning," he said. "You can't get that anywhere else other than the farmers market."

However, the downtown market isn't the only "shop" in town. Murray City Park holds a no-nonsense market—exclusively produce. Nothing inedible is allowed.

"It is a little bit smaller, but I think that's a little bit better," customer Amy Atchison said. "You can get around it a little bit easier, especially with the little one."

South Jordan's market is also food exclusive and draws an impressive number of local growers. Herriman's festival style market is in its first year.

"It's been a great start and everybody seems to enjoy it," said Sylvan Olsen, one of the market's organizers.

And if you want to get away for the day, you can head up to Park City. The mid-week market is quite selective about which vendors they allow and it attracts locals and tourists alike.

"I have 3 inspectors that I send out to inspect farms so they really only bring what they grow," said market organizer, Volker Ritzinger.

No matter which market you hit, organizers say buying locally is good for Utah.

"Any time you buy any product locally you're really helping our local economy," Sparks said.

Link to Utah's Own Website:

List of Farmer's Markets: Find a market where you live

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