|Lake St. Louis Farmer's Market and Art Fair. Yes, a Farmer's Market with artist booths. Saturdays April through November in St. Charles County. Photo by Natalie Avondet.|
It’s Saturday. It’s early. 8:30 a.m. I’m standing in line at Sudamerica Bakery's booth waiting to order. It’s a beautiful morning. Lake St. Louis Farmer’s Market and Art Fair. It’s already packed. I grab my empanada and chicha morada, and wander through the Fair. Exploring.
Veggies. Lots of veggies. It is a farmer’s market after all. Hand-made aprons. Soaps. Even dog treats. I wish I had a dog. I wish I knew a dog.
A booth of photography. I must see. One photo in particular catches my eye—Early Morning Ride. The vivid colors of the hot air balloon harness my attention. Not an easy feat. I have a hard time looking away. (See the photo below and you’ll understand.)
|Kent Smith. Early Morning Ride. Photograph, 20"x16”.|
With permission from Kent Smith, KC Photography. Photo by Natalie Avondet.
|Kent Smith, KC Photography booth at Lake St. Louis Farmer's Market & Art Fair. Photo by Natalie Avondet.|
Grass fed beef. I smell coffee. As I’m still savoring my chicha mirada, I pass on the coffee. That was quite possibly one of the best empandas I’ve ever had. I see a sign that reads, “Organic.” I make a quick right. Tomatoes. I must have some tomatoes. Maple syrup. Jam. Cherry Vanilla to be exact. All Hart Beet Farm produced. Hart Beet Farm, outside of Eolia, Mo, doesn’t just grow organic, sustainable food but they also collect wild fruits, mushrooms and maple syrups. Obviously, they also make their own interesting, unique flavored jams, as well.
For now, I must move on. Goose Poop. I can’t resist. It’s Grandpa Spencer’s Original Gourmet Mustard. It’s a salsa. It’s a mustard. Kind of. Definitely delicious. I buy two. And you can, too. They are also available at Ellbee’s General Store in Wentzville. Check it out.
From a few “doors” down, the smell of wood-fired pizza fills the air. Too bad I had an empanada. Nope. That’s a lie. I really liked that empanada.
So, let’s see. I’ve successfully purchased 5 tomatoes, a bottle of syrup, a jar of jam, and two containers of Goose Poop. What else? Ooooh. Cutting boards. I’m not in need of any at this time. However, these are gorgeous, and they make great gifts. Iris Woodworks. I grab a card. Iris Woodworks make their cutting boards from exotic woods. The combinations of wood grains and stains are truly beautiful. Find them on Facebook…Iris Woodworks.
Oh, no. I’m out of chicha morada. I meander back to Sudamerica. A South American, mostly Peruvian, bakery. They’re here every week. I’m tempted to get another empanada but I have lunch scheduled with friends at BC Kitchen. For now, the chicha morada will suffice.
With my chicha morada in hand, I wander back through the fair. I hear “Celebrate” coming from my right and a little gospel music coming from my left. It’s still early. Still Saturday. It’s going to be a beautiful day.
Lake St. Louis Farmer’s Market and Art Fair is located in St. Charles County, MO and takes place Saturdays 8 a.m.-12 p.m. The April through November, at the Meadows, 20 Meadows Circle Drive (The Market is located in the shopping center is the South parking lots facing Technology Drive & Highway 40). Local artists who live within a 100-mile radius of Lake St. Louis and are interested in becoming a vendor, apply here.
Natalie Avondet is a St. Louis-based artist. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism/Advertising with a Minor in Psychology from University of Missouri's School of Journalism. Natalie's early career was in commercial advertising in the Midwest and Los Angeles. Art is a lifelong passion and she began seriously painting and exhibiting in galleries while in Los Angeles. Determined to pursue her artistic career, she returned to the Midwest and since then has exhibited in Kansas City, Los Angeles and Saint Louis. Her work is represented locally by Grafica Fine Art Gallery. You can reach out to Natalie through her blog.