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South Bend Farmer’s Market

SUZANNA PRATT and MAIJA GUSTIN/The Observer | Sunday, September 4, 2011

 

Walk around Notre Dame’s campus on any given day and you will often hear cries of, “South Bend is so boring,” or “There is nothing to do here!” But despair no more, fellowDomers. There actually are things to do in South Bend beyond going to Five Guys andO’Rourke’s. If you’re willing to be a little adventurous and try something new, South Bend is waiting to entertain you.

 

Since the busy life of a Notre Dame student doesn’t leave much time for digging through all of South Bend’s offerings, though, Scene is here to help you. Turn to the center of The Observer for Things to do in South Bend.

 

The South Bend Farmer’s Market is a popular destination for locals, but unfortunately remains far off the radar for most Notre Dame students. I implore you to change this immediately. The Farmer’s Market, which runs year-round, is both a source for amazing food, produce and other delicacies and is an exciting outing for even the pickiest Domer.

 

After hunting for a good parking spot in the inevitably crowded parking lot, your senses will be assailed by an array of the finest local produce around. Don’t let the crowds deter you ⎯ the large number of daily visitors is merely a testament to how truly wonderful the South Bend Farmer’s Market is.

 

Navigate around your fellow browsers to take a closer look at the brightly colored peppers and creamy, homemade gelato. The Farmer’s Market features a little something for everyone, from the little kids with their gourmet smoothies, to the families enjoying a meal in the always-packed Farmer’s Market Café.

 

The venue offers more than just food. Local artisans sell their jewelry and clothes between Indiana-based winemakers and collections of antiques.

 

But if food is what you’re after, the Farmer’s Market offers the freshest locally grown produce, home-grown teas and spices, fresh deli meats, homemade bread and pizza dough, soft pretzels baked in front of you and any other culinary treat your heart (and stomach) could desire.

 

Take a group of friends to the market and scour the vast selection to create a dinner menu that will taste gourmet. Or spend a Saturday browsing the selections while chowing down on freshly baked muffins and warm ciabatta bread.

 

Martin’s and Meijer may offer the fruits, vegetables and other items that you want at any time of the year, but a hallmark of the Farmer’s Market is its locally grown, seasonal produce. Sure, you can’t get fresh strawberries year round. But when they are there, you’re guaranteed to get the best tasting strawberries you’ve ever had.

 

Shopping for seasonal produce will also open your eyes to a whole new world of fruits and vegetables. Butternut squash may not have looked that tempting at the grocery store, but when you see the locally grown selection this fall, you just might have a change of heart.

 

The South Bend Farmer’s Market is really just a fun place to go. It has a laid back atmosphere that is perfect for browsing with your friends on a Saturday morning.

 

The South Bend Farmer’s Market is located at 1105 Northside Boulevard. Just hop in your car and head south on Notre Dame Avenue. Turn left at the river and follow it the rest of the way to this food-lover’s haven.

The market is open year-round from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 7a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

 

With an away game coming up this weekend, what better way to prepare for a nighttime game watch than to pick up some ingredients for guacamole, veggie dip, homemade pizzas and all your other football-watching necessities? The South Bend Farmer’s Market has got you covered.

 

The views in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer. Contact Maija Gustin at mgustin@nd.edu