SALT LAKE CITY — Saturday mornings signify a sort of pilgrimage to Pioneer Park, as people come from all over the state just to experience rows and rows of vendors selling anything and everything from homegrown honey to handmade jewelry.
Even with questionable weather, sounds of music and the aromas of various foods waft among busy shoppers.
The entire scene is exciting enough that a newcomer may spend all their money under the first few tents he or she sees. The consumer then succumbs to the window-shopper mentality.
The solution is two-fold: Come back next week and get what was missed; or follow the "market shopper" strategy — that is, if you have a couple hours to kill.
Salt Lake's Downtown Farmers Market features three sections with the farmer's bounty on the north, where all varieties of produce, homemade cheese, flowers, baked goods and more can be found.
"People seem to like the different varieties of honey," Randi Limb said. She and her 10-year-old daughter, Jessica, run the booth where Prickly Rock Honey is sold. "(Jessica) likes to play her violin and earn some money."
Then there is the Food Fairway, where shoppers can sample culinary delights from Salt Lake-area restaurants.
Hasen Cone has decided to make mint limeades a full-time job, and his friend, Jarom Bischof, helps him run a booth at the center of the market.
"I like being at the farmers market," Bischof said. "For Hasen, this is how he survives, and I just like the farmers market."
Finally, on the south end of the park is the Open Air Arts & Crafts Market, where shoppers can find clothing and unique items of jewelry, artwork and photographs.
Michel Rogerson graduated from Utah State University with an art degree, and because he could never find a sketchbook that he liked, he decided to design his own. He sells them at the market for others to enjoy.
"I consider these individual works of art," Rogerson said. "I sign and date all of them and number each one."
All his books are handmade, each with their own unique flair. His books are made from everything from Led Zeppelin album covers to Monopoly boards.
The market atmosphere alone can be overwhelming, and there are people everywhere — vendors handing out samples and shoppers accompanied by dogs, stopping to look at every single stand.
The farmers marketis one of the shining stars that the city has to offer. The market opened for the season on Saturday and will continue every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. until Oct. 16. In August, once the season calls for more fruits on the vine, the market will also be open on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.