Two large farmers' markets, sponsored by the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, opened Friday in Salt Lake City and Layton and will continue Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. through the last part of October.

This is the eighth year Wasatch Front farmers from Cache, Box Elder, Davis, Salt Lake and Utah counties have participated in the markets, which provide a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables at below grocery store prices.The markets are located near the UFB headquarters just west of the 53rd South I-15 exit in Salt Lake County and at the Layton Hills Mall parking lot in Davis County.

Cil Davis, Orem, who farms 35 acres with her husband, Mike, opened a fruit and vegetable stand Friday at 8 a.m. near the Farm Bureau headquarters and said she will be open that early every Friday and Saturday until the snow falls.

"Last year, I had a stand here until the second week in November," she said. She and her husband grow peaches, pears, cherries, apples, peppers, nectarines, plums and corn.

She said she and her husband normally sell their fruits and vegetables to grocery stores and at a roadside stand near their home, "but the farmers' market has been a good place to sell things, too.

"We really like this farmers' market idea. It is a good place for people to shop because everything is so fresh and reasonably priced, and I think most farmers' who have stands here do well, too."

Seven farmers had set up stands near the Farm Bureau headquarters by 2 p.m. Friday, and Davis said she expects 30 to 35 farmers' will have stands every Friday and Saturday as more and more commodities are harvested.

Among the many items for sale Friday at the Salt Lake County market were new potatoes, cantaloupe, cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, corn, many different kinds of peppers, peaches, apricots, plums, several kinds of honey and apple cider.

One shopper, Ted Small, Murray, said he enjoys shopping every week at the Salt Lake County farmers' market. "I like dealing direct with the farmer. I know their produce is as fresh as it can be and will taste a lot better than most of the vegetables or fruits I can buy in a supermarket."