Cartwright Downtown Farmers Market to debut May 8

Same location, but new name and manager

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY - The all-volunteer management team for the Cartwright Downtown Farmers Market is pictured Thursday at the Times-Republican catching up on Iowa Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) guidelines. From left are Treasurer Ron Crow, Manager Trish Wilder, and Assistant Manager Margaret Hala. Market vendors will accept SNAP, “Double-Up Bucks” and EBT.

For the 34th consecutive season, a farmers market will be selling fresh produce, baked goods, eggs, meat and more from the shelter of the Cartwright Pavilion bordering the stately Binford House in the 100 block of North Second Avenue.

However, this season debuts a logo, new manager, name and a number of new full-time vendors. Trish Wilder of Marshalltown is the new manager. And the enterprise is now known as the Cartwright Downtown Farmers Market, formerly Cartwright Pavilion Farmers Market

“Since we are located downtown and recently joined the Marshalltown Central Business District organization, we thought it wise to include downtown in our name,” Walden said. “The structure which shelters us is still known as the Cartwright Pavilion.”

Wilder, Assistant Manager Margaret Hala and Treasurer Ron Crow have busy preparing for this season. Beginning May 8, Wednesday hours are 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Beginning May 11, Saturday hours are 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The market will be open July 3 and during Oktemberfest, and the team said its last Saturday will be Oct. 26.

Wilder said they have commitments from more than 20 vendors and expect more. They range from Appleberry Farm to Heartwood Acres to Tammy & Megan’s Bling.

Once the growing season gets into full swing, Central Iowans can expect to see fresh cabbage, carrots, herbs onions, potatoes, radishes, sweet corn and tomatoes. Wilder and team are working on scheduling entertainment.

There will be a special emphasis on providing fun and educational activities for youngsters. The market will also feature a Kids Zone where we will provide coloring, bubbles, chalk, art & crafts and fun activities throughout the season — weather permitting.

These activities will be listed on its event calendar. The market will hold monthly craft fairs throughout the season.

“We hope to host 15-20 crafters, artists and vendors alongside our regular market,” Wilder said. “These dates will be announced in next couple of weeks, assuming the city approves our permit to block Second Avenue alongside the market.”

Wilder and team have been aggressively using a Facebook business page as its business front.

“All contact details are listed, and people contact us on Facebook as well,” Wilder said. “Customers can also easily find us on Google and Google Maps. We created a community group for this page, to allow our customers, community and vendors to interact. It is linked to our business page.

“An event calendar will be posted on Facebook next week. We are working with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach, Marshall County Master Gardeners, 4-H, Marshall County Conservation, the ISU Family Nutrition Program, The Marshalltown Public Library and many more to provide free family and community event.”

Additionally, the market recently joined the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Trish has done a great job organizing, soliciting vendors and promoting the Cartwright Downtown Farmers Market,” Crow and Hala said. “We are looking forward to the new season.”

Hala was market manager for 20-plus years, and a long-time vendor at the Cartwright site, going back to 1985, its inaugural year.

“Our family was active with the market in 1975 when it was on 18th Avenue,” Hala said.

For more information, contact Wilder at 641-351-9181, Hala at 641-752-2981 or email