One of the coolest aspects of living in Soulard is that I'm so close to the Soulard Farmers Market. 3 blocks close. It was one of the first places I wanted to visit.
My first time there I was ready for anything. I'd heard it was a great "People Watching" place which simultaneously concerned and intrigued me. It was a late, cold Saturday morning and the place wasn't bustling as much as I thought it would be. I entered the market in the Northwest corner which seemed like the most busy and made my way through the crowd soaking in everything every vendor had to offer.
The workers were yelling out prices and all the deals they were featuring that day while little old ladies examined the tomatoes. Young couples were searching for the perfect green pepper. I was searching for variety. The weird thing about this farmers market was that the booths were all stocked with the same stuff you can get at the grocery store. Perhaps it was a little fresher, but we're talking about obviously packaged goods. Even brand names!
I admit I felt duped, but then I was reminded of something while I tightened my scarf. It's effing winter. I don't suppose too many green pepper crops are being harvested in the St Louis area mid-January. I wasn't getting the real Soulard Farmers Market experience and it was no one's fault. I've asked around since and, yeah, it'll get better once the weather warms up.
I can't say there weren't any sights to behold. The Meat Market in the center is nuts. Something you'd see featured on a Travel Channel show. The spice shop is awesomely unique. But the craziest thing I saw was raccoon. There was a vendor with meat freezers who had a bucket in from of the booth with the hand-written sign that read 'Coons. I could only assume it was anything but raccoons. Maybe it was pelts I thought. Do people like raccoon pelts? I was hoping they did. Nope. Sure enough, it was a big bucket of skinned raccoons. I was shocked. I looked up at the vendor who obviously saw that I was disturbed by what I just discovered. She just stared back. I assume she gets similar reactions often.
I quickly walked away wondering what the hell anybody would need a skinned raccoon for. Yep... Good eatin'.
I'll update my Soulard Farmers Market findings once it gets warm. I want the full experience. Coon and all.