The soft opening of theÂ Minneapolis Farmers’ Market is this weekend with the Thursday Nicollet Avenue market opening on Thursday. The downtown Saint Paul Farmers’ Market where the kitchen partner and I do most of our shopping starts the summer market season one week from tomorrow. Vendors will be ready to go at 6 AM, hopefully with some springtime finds. Anyone else ready for rhubarb and asparagus?
The downtown market is helping to support an urban revival in Lowertown St. Paul. It’s a vibrant look at the thriving local food economy in our area. The Pioneer Press reported this week that more than 20,000 visitors come to downtown each summer weekend for the market. Enough that developers are considering expanding the market to 7 days a week. I get goosebumps just thinking about it!
Are you ready this year? This is the season you’ll add more fresh produce to your diet. This is the season you’ll start buying local. This is the season you’ll visit your farmers’ market and shake the hands of your local growers. This is the season.
Where to find your Local Farmers’ Market
2. Local Harvest: If you don’t live in Minnesota, LocalHarvest.org is a one-stop shop for all things local food. From the homepage you can search by zip code for farms and farmersâ€™ markets in your area. Their handy directory is a publicly maintained (farmers/producers sign themselves up for listings), nationwide source for local organic and sustainable products. Spend some time here, thereâ€™s lots to offer.
3. The Locavore App for iPhone and Android: If you’d like farmers’ market information on the go, download the free Locavore app from localdirt.com. It has searchable maps, what’s in season and a way to share the tasty local food you’re eating with friends on Facebook.
4. Lastly, the USDA maintains a searchable list of farmers’ markets around the country. If you want the nitty-gritty on your market (market coordinator info, how many vendors accept WIC or other food assistance programs, what percentage of the produce is organic, etc.) this is the place to go.