Arts & Culture, Dining, Summer

Oh, Kale Yeah! It’s Time for the Wood River Farmers Markets

Life rolls at a more relaxed pace in the mountains, and those minutes between when an event is supposed to start, and when it actually starts, is what we like to call “Ketchum-time.” There’s always some wiggle room…which means a little extra time on the trail, or for a lingering lunch with friends.

Or, at least, so I thought.

Turns out that “Ketchum-time” doesn’t apply at the Wood River Farmers Markets. “You should have been here earlier,” one farmer told me when I looked sadly at an empty bin labeled ‘broccoli.’ “Those sold within the first thirty minutes.”

When it comes to supporting local producers—and eating the freshest, tastiest fruits, meats, and vegetables—the people of this Valley don’t mess around. It’s ‘be there or be square,’ and I’ve learned my lesson.

Wood River Farmers Market in Ketchum, Idaho

Ketchum Farmers Market

The Wood River Farmers Markets hold two markets each week through the summer. The first, on Tuesdays from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, is hosted at the River Run Parking Lot on Serenade Lane in Ketchum. Dozens of local vendors set up for four hours and offer locals and visitors the change to purchase locally-grown produce, meats, and dairy products alongside artisan crafts and flowers.

Food vendors serve ready-to-eat meals, and musicians lay the perfect soundtrack for cruising the booths. Sometimes the music gets so lively that it turns into a dance party…you should definitely join in if that happens. This is mountain living!

Wood River Farmers Market in Ketchum, Idaho
Wood River Ranch Beef, Bellevue

Market in Ketchum, Idaho
Hoosier Cabinet Bakers

Hailey Farmers Market

On Thursdays from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, another market is held on Main Street in Hailey, between Galena and Silver Streets. In addition to produce, artisan crafts, and prepared food, the Hailey Market has been known to host impromptu (but competitive!) games of cornhole, with relative strangers picking a side and cheering on their favorite team.

Wood River Farmers Market in Hailey, Idaho
Sweet Indulgence Bakery
Wood River Farmers Market in Hailey, Idaho
Cornhole competition

Over 50 vendors set up at the Ketchum and Hailey Farmers Markets each week. While there is some overlap of vendors, each location has unique producers, so it’s a worthwhile endeavor to check out both. The Markets run from mid-June to late-September each year (in 2019, the Ketchum Farmers Market is from June 11 to September 26, and the Hailey Farmers Market is from June 13 to September 26).

Wood River Farmers Market in Ketchum, Idaho
Squash Blossom Farm, Bellevue

Farmers markets are a place to not only purchase fresh goods directly from the producer, but also to support a robust local economy. Though I’ve shown up later than I should have, I won’t leave empty-handed. By the time I walk through the entire market, I’ve acquired a round of fresh cheese, a bag of natural treats for my dog, a cinnamon roll, and a head of lettuce that will I’ll be turning into a salad for dinner.

Wood River Farmers Market in Hailey, Idaho
Agrarian Harvest, Buhl

I don’t think I’ll miss that broccoli too much…but next time, I’ll be there early.

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