Tower Grove Farmers' Market Opens for the Season on Saturday, May 4

Good news for locavores: Our options for locally grown produce are about to expand significantly. Tomorrow, Saturday, May 4, the Tower Grove Farmers' Market (at the intersection of Main Drive and Center Cross Drive, west of the wading pool; 314-771-4410) launches its eighth season -- has it really been that long?! -- in style, bringing together more than 90 vendors offering everything from local produce to organic spices. Beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing till 2 p.m., the festivities transpire smack-dab in the middle of Tower Grove Park.

Opening day brings a passel of activities to augment the regular market.

For those who hate shopping on an empty stomach, The Big Cheese, Lulu's food truck and Holy Crepe! will be on site. And throughout the day, music by Rough Shop, the Lodge Brothers, and the Trio Project will serve as your shopping soundtrack. If you're the type who stresses out whilst shopping, free yoga and qi gong -- a Chinese form of meditation (go ahead and Google it) classes will be held on the lawn nearby.

The Tower Grove Market has become increasingly popular over the years -- by the organizers' count, more than 4,000 visitors turned out for opening day in 2012 -- and in the increasingly crowded farmers'-market field, TGFM has managed to snag honors as RFT's "Best Farmers' Market" the past two years running. The roster of weekly vendors has grown right along with attendance. Fifty regulars set up shop each week and are joined by a rotating cast of part timers who offer unique and seasonal items.

With a focus on Missouri and Illinois-grown products, items on hand run the gamut, from standard and hard-to-find fruits and vegetables to grass-fed beef, specialty chocolates, Ozark mushrooms, and homemade jewelry.

So let's all go out, say hi to our local farmers and our neighbors and take home an artisan-cured, hand-tied salami! Who's with Gut Check on this? Don't be shy!

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