Monday, April 09, 2012

To Market, To Market: A Visit to the Historic Soulard Farmer's Market

This Saturday dawned cool and crisp in St. Louis and I knew it was the perfect day to head to my neighborhood farmer’s market. I was tasked to bring strawberries* on Easter Sunday and the best place in St. Louis to buy locally grown fruits, vegetables, and meat is the historic Soulard Farmers Market.

St. Louisans have been buying and selling local wares at the market since 1779 when the “market” was a simple tract of land where farmers would gather to sell their livestock and other goods. In 1836 Julia Cerre Soulard, the widow of Antoine Soulard, a surveyor and former lieutenant in the French navy, acquired the deed to the land and commissioned two buildings to stand as an official farmer’s market. 

The buildings are still there today and have been designated one of America’s “Great Public Spaces” by the Project for Public Spaces. Soulard Farmers Market stands as the oldest public market west of the Mississippi River.

In the beginning: Soulard Farmers Market, ca early 1800's
{photo credit}

Visiting Soulard Market this weekend, I was reminded of the open air farmers markets where I would practice my German after class (“Was ist der Preis?”) when I lived and studied in Salzburg and of the famous La Boqueria, the public Barcelona market built in 1217 and located off the busy La Rambla, an area I visited for five memorable days in 2004.

Soulard Market is open year round Wednesday through Saturday and on the weekends the market is busy and bustling with locals, families, and tourists.  

Planning a trip to the market? Visit their website, like their Facebook page and follow them on twitter.

*When learning how to cook, you’re often tasked with bringing things like strawberries and cartons of iced tea. Non-cooks, FTW!


  1. Actually, the majority of the produce and meat found at the Soulard Farmers' Market is not local. There are about 7 to 10 local purveyors, but most of the produce comes from produce row. Having said that, it's still a great place to shop and it's especially wonderful for families with limited incomes because you can get a lot of good fruits and vegetables on a budget!

    If you are concerned about which ones are local though, just ask ... the local farmers will be more than happy to tell you!

    1. Good point! It is perfect for big families and convenient for me since I live just a few blocks away. :)


Hello! After a brief review, you should see your comment appear shortly.