Residents across southeast Iowa have a variety of fresh produce to choose from thanks to Stout’s Market.
Shannon Stout said the stands have been a staple in the area since 1998 and were started by her father-in-law.
“He’s been a farmer his whole life, so it was something to do for the summer,” she said.
The family has land by Letts, Conesville and Ainsworth – just more than 100 acres is for the market alone. Every year sweet corn, seedless watermelon, cantaloupe and just about anything else grown in the ground is available for purchase.
On average, the family has anywhere from nine to 12 stands at a time. This year there are 11.
“It kind of depends on the year,” she said, commenting the number of stands depends on how well the produce does that year.
This year, the family was able to open the stands a little earlier than normal.
“The very beginning of the season we had a late frost and the weather was pretty chilly, so we were pretty nervous about that, but June went along, and it was pretty warm so we ended up being pretty good this year,” she said.
Being a weather-dependent business, sales can ebb and flow but this year has been a good year, she said.
“I would say sales are definitely up this year,” she said.
Stout said she wasn’t sure if that was due to people looking to eat healthier or purchase products outdoors due to the pandemic as multiple factors could come into play.
“Every year more and more people learn about us, so it’s probably a combination of all of that,” she said.
Stout said the family aims to keep the stands open until Labor Day, as long as supplies last.
Stout’s Market can be visited at the following locations:
• Highway 218 1 mile north of Ainsworth.
• Washington Ace N More.
• Riverside: Casey’s on east side of town.
• Iowa City: Gateway 1 Plaza.
• Soccer Fields in Tiffin on Highway 6.
• LD Express/Liberty Doors on Penn Street in North Liberty.
• Uptown Motors, Muscatine at intersection of Highways 38 and 61.
• Cedar Plaza by the Subway in Muscatine.
• 61 Chophouse on Highway 61 in Mediapolis.