To Market, To Market

We are so lucky in the Twin Cities to be home to some of the most fantastic Farmer’s Markets so close to our very own Neighborhoods.

Farmer's Market Map

The big daddy, the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market,  is open seven days a week at the primary location on Lyndale Avenue, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. April through mid-November and the Nicollet Mall Farmer’s Market every Thursday.   The Lyndale location of the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market opened in 1937, but according to their website, the Minneapolis market dates back to 1876.  The Minneapolis Market is on both Facebook and Twitter.  You can get a full vendor listing for the Minneapolis market on their website but the most fun is to just go and browse the rows and see all the local fresh farmer grown food, crafts and plants you can find.

The Saint Paul Farmers Market is a weekend affair in the Lowertown area of Downtown St. Paul, and has a big emphasis on products produced within a 50 mile radius of the Capital City and the St. Paul Growers Association only allows “fresh locally grown produce to be sold–directly from the grower to the consumer.”  St. Paul’s market, like Minneapolis, has a rich history.  According to their website the first organized St. Paul market began in 1853.  The Downtown location is open Saturdays from 6am-1pm and Sundays from 8am-1pm, April through November. Saint Paul also has a Woodbury City Walk Market on Wednesdays July-October.   The Saint Paul Growers also have outposts at 17 other locations throughout the summer. Consult the website for more information.

The Mill City Farmer’s Market in the shadows of the Guthrie Theater and inside the ruins of the Mill City Museum along the Mississippi River in Downtown Minneapolis was founded by chef and Restaurateur Brenda Langdon and specializes in sustainable, organic and local foods.  It was one of the first markets to have chef-made edibles.  There are always fun family activities and one of my friends is a vendor there (Braucher Sunshine Harvest Farms) so I frequent it often.

Midtown Farmers MarketClose to my house is also the Midtown Farmer’s Market run by the Corcoran Neighborhood Association. At the intersection of Hiawatha & Lake Street it is a fantastic location for public transportation access right off the Midtown Greenway and Light Rail and Bus Lines.  Unfortunately with the impending sale and development of the school whose parking lot has been the home for the market, it is under threat and the future of this great market is uncertain. This weekend the Midtown Farmer’s Market is celebrating the Summer Solstice with a cooking demo from Beth Dooley, City of Lakes Waldorf School butterfly crafts and more.

Richfield’s Farmer’s Market takes place in Veteran’s Memorial Park Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 12 p.m and is the third largest market in the Twin Cities behind only Minneapolis’ and St. Paul’s markets.   Very convenient for suburban dwellers and a growing selection of produce though their meat & eggs can are limited.  Not bad for a suburban market and one that has only been around since 1990 though.

Newer to the scene in Minneapolis a decade ago is the Kingfield Farmers Market.  Every Sunday from 9am to 1:30pm at 43rd & Nicollet this is market is growing in popularity every week as the buzz spreads. Especially with the ChefShack stopping by!

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better for Twin Cities residents comes news of another market, this one in Uptown. The Calhoun Area Residents Action Group  with additional sponsorship from the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association is presenting the Uptown Farmer’s Market with begins this Sunday, June 21st.  The market will be located on 29th Street between Lyndale Ave S. And Dupont Ave. S.  and will operate between 11am and 5pm.  It is scheduled to be held four times this year, on the third Sundays of June, July, August and September.  According to their press release the Uptown Market is modeling itself against Seattle’s Fremont Market, and like the neighborhood, will bring an eclectic mix of vendors with more than just food goods.  As Roxie Speth, a local artist on the planning board put it, “We want to offer the kind of quirky, offbeat goods that made the Uptown area so exciting in its early days.” The Uptown Market is on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

produce-bag

Shopping your local farmers markets is not only fun and gives you the opportunity to find delicious fresh items but supporting locally grown goods is also environmentally and economically sound practice.   Just make certain to take your own reusable shopping bags (I promise I won’t pimp the bags I’m selling at Mother Earth again). But don’t forget to stock up on reusable produce bags as well!  I have several EcoBags that I love to take to market with me that I purchased from Twin Cities Green.  Great for the new potatoes, radishes, onions, and peas that are on market tables now. When I get home I reuse plastic bags for the items to keep fresh and crisp in the refrigerator, washing the plastic bags in between uses so I don’t have to keep getting new ones.

Which is your favorite market? Any hidden gems?

3 Comments so far

  1. tipper on June 19th, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

    Almost every ‘burb has a market these days! It’s a good thing.

    New to the game this year is the New Hope Community Farmers Market. They had 1200 people come through last weekend (their first) and the produce vendors sold out! They’re expanding a bit to keep up with the demand. I’ll be there this weekend, and most of the rest of them, selling my handmade soap.

    I can’t decide which of the bigger markets I like the best. Lyndale’s nice for it’s sheer size, but I hate, hate, hate the produce resellers. Mill City is lovely, but seems to be much more expensive than other markets. I like the northeast farmers market – it’s tiny and cute and not busy (and the beef there is great; we bought a 1/4 cow from them), but it doesn’t have quite everything you want in a market.


  2. David (jacc) on June 19th, 2009 @ 9:17 pm
  3. aliecat on June 21st, 2009 @ 1:44 pm

    I just went to the Uptown Market and found it seriously lacking in produce. Lots of local artisans and a couple of food stands, but there was only one vegetable stand at the whole thing. Here’s hoping they can attract more food vendors.



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