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Civic Impact

"An amusement park without the rides" -- Citiparks Farmers Markets

"People like knowing the source of what they're putting on their dinner tables," says Mike Radley, Citiparks director.

That's why they're welcoming the opening of this year's farmers markets, running now through Nov. 23. East Liberty's open on Mondays, South Side on Tuesdays, Carrick on Wednesdays, Bloomfield and Beechview on Thursdays, Downtown and the North Side on Fridays; for specific times and locations (including a new spot for Beechview), click here.

Patrons also appreciate the chance to buy local, to chat with the farmers, and to enjoy an open-air market relatively close to home, with ever-changing wares, adds Radley.

Mirella Ranallo, farmers market manager, calls the whole experience simply "an amusement park without the rides."

Well, no curly fries either. But there's as much fruit and veg as you imagine, plus meats, cheeses and bakery items, as well as flowers, gardening and gift items in several of the locations. There are also new vendors of homemade pretzels and of acai berry smoothies in some of the markets.

With all the emphasis on green living, there's also increasing pressure on the green in your wallet -- especially from food and gas prices. Farmers markets are still great buys and desirable experiences, says Radley -- "now more than ever."

Writer: Marty Levine
Sources: Mike Radley and Mirella Ranallo, Citiparks
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