I found a ton of other interesting foods and fun, but no melon. I had hoped that some of the Southern Utah farmers would have a ripe crop by now, even though most crops are a couple of weeks behind their usual growing season. If they have ripe melons, they might be selling it closer to home for now.
But I did go home with some nice apricots and cherries, listened to some great music, and ran into several friends and acquaintances.
It was fun to see farmers I wrote about when I was the Deseret News food editor. Cornaby's from Utah County was there selling home-grown raspberry jams and spreads.
Peggy Nelson of the Purple Apple Farm in Cache Valley had a booth with her lavender products. She even had my story on display in her booth. Jamie Gillmor seemed to be doing a brisk business selling his Morgan Valley lamb.
I bought a bar of goat milk soap from Creamery Creek Farms in Lindon. I've used goat milk soap before, and was impressed with how gentle it felt on my skin. According to the Creamery Creek handout, it contains caprylic acid, which gives it a low pH balance.
It seems that there are more goat farmers in Utah lately. By the way, did you know that goat is the number-one most eaten meat in the world? Although it's not big in the U.S., it's standard fare in many countries.
If you're going to a farmers market, here are some things I've learned over the years:
1. Bring cash. Many farmers can't take credit cards and may not take checks. Bigger markets may have ATM machines, but don't count on it.
2. Stroll around the stalls and check out prices and quality before buying. I stopped at the first booth I saw and bought a bag of cherries for $6. Just a few steps away, the same size bag was selling for $5.
3. If you're planning to buy a lot of produce, bring a rolling cooler or a baby stroller to carry it. The Downtown market offers "Veggie Valets" who will carry the produce to your waiting car, but the smaller markets don't have that kind of service. And it's nice to keep things cool if you've got a lot of stops on the way home.
If the big crowds aren't your thing, head for some of the smaller markets that have sprung up locally.
For a list of them, check Slow Food Utah's website at http://www.slowfoodutah.org/articles/?sortField=title&sortOrder=asc&topic=8916.