CHILLY OPENING: 37th Farmers Market Begins

In Des Moines, opening day of the Downtown Farmers’ Market is a symbol of spring.

On Saturday, people dressed like it was the last market of the year instead of the first.

“It’s that non-stop slurry of rain that accumulates slowly and painfully,” said Des Moines resident, Patrick Boberg.

“We’ve got our winter jackets on. It is unusual for May, but this is Iowa,” said Andre Rethman, a Des Moines resident who attended with his family.

Hot sandwiches and hot coffee stole the show while fresh Iowa produce waits to be planted.

It was good news for Charlie Brendelend.

His breakfast bar was as popular as ever.

“We look forward to that opening day every year. We see a lot of old customers,” Brendeland told Channel 13 News.

While Charlie caught up with long-time customers, Sarah Vorm was trying to bring in a few new ones.

“A friend used to sell crepes here and told us we’d have a good reception so we thought we’d try it,” said Vorm, owner of Sweet Treat Without Wheat.

Vorm is one of more than thirty first time vendors in 2013.

She hoped the Downtown Farmers’ Market crowd would enjoy her gluten free Sweet Treat Without Wheat as much as her daughter does.

“My daughter went gluten free two years ago and the food we found wasn’t very good so we started tweaking recipes so she could have real food,” Vorm told Channel 13 News.

While the sun didn’t make an appearance this time, organizers say they’re happy with the turnout and are optimistic that the weather will only get better.

After all, there are 26 markets to go.

“This is just one of many Saturdays. The weather isn’t going to be perfect every week. In a few months, people will think it’s too hot to be on Court Avenue shopping,” said Kelly Foss from the Downtown Community Alliance.