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Minneapolis farmers markets aim to make fresh food more available

Here’s what three markets have to offer this summer.
Image by Hannah Kovnar
Minneapolis farmers markets offer everything from fresh produce to baked goods to yoga classes.

As summer kicks into full swing, farmers markets around Minneapolis are selling fresh fruit, vegetables and other goods to their local communities.

There are 16 different farmers markets throughout Minneapolis, all of which offer produce and goods from local farmers and businesses. Many of the markets operate in some capacity year-round, while others only happen during the summer.

Here are what three Minneapolis farmer’s markets have to offer this summer:

Mill City Farmers Market

The Mill City Farmers Market, located near the Mill City Museum in downtown Minneapolis, operates all year and is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. over the summer. 

The market added 35 new vendors in the last two years, according to Mill City Farmers Market Spokesperson Maya O’Brien McLeod.

“There is a lot of fresh blood, new products that a lot of people are excited about,” McLeod said.

The summer is when vendors display the most fresh food, according to McLeod. In addition to fresh produce, the market provides free yoga classes each week at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., she added.

The market also participates in the Minnesota Market Bucks program, which works in conjunction with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to make fresh produce more affordable for low-income people and families, McLeod said. When someone spends $10 on their SNAP card, they get an additional $20 to buy more produce, which can be used once a day. 

The Mill City Farmers Market is all about building a strong sense of community, with some of the same people coming back each week, McLeod said.

“All the vendors are so passionate about what they do, the customers can really see that, so they come back again and again,” McLeod said. “I’ve heard the quote a lot of, ‘This is my church.’”

Northeast Farmers Market

The Northeast Farmers Market is open every Saturday in the summer from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the St. Boniface Church parking lot.

It features a well-rounded assortment of vendors, including fresh produce, dog treats and hot sauce, said Sarah Knoss, a spokesperson for the Northeast Farmers Market. 

“We have many vendors that have been with us for many years,” Knoss said. “Everyone comes each week to shop their staple.”

According to Knoss, it is a community-based market with dedicated and supportive customers.

“It’s fun, everyone’s in a really good mood,” Knoss said. “You can just feel it.”

In addition to the outdoor summer market, it operates in the winter on select Sundays from November through April.

The market participates in the Minnesota Market Bucks food assistance program, Power of Produce and the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, Knoss said. She added that the Northeast Farmers Market is celebrating its 25th season this year.

“We’re going strong, we are a small but mighty market,” Knoss said.

University of Minnesota East Bank Farmers Market

During the summer, the University of Minnesota Office of Human Resources organizes a farmers market at Gateway Plaza outside the McNamara Alumni Center.

The market is on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting July 10 and ending Sep. 25. 

The market offers many different goods including fresh produce, canned goods and flowers, according to Laura Fiero, a wellbeing consultant for the University and manager of the farmers market. 

“We always have our Student Organic Farm as one of our main vendors every season,” Fiero said. “So you’ll always find fresh produce at the market.”

A new seller this year, MNmunchies/MNdreamArt, will be the first student vendor at the market, Fiero said.

“She has a variety of no-salt seasonings, blends, teas, soaps and other arts and crafts that she does,” Fiero said. “She’ll be at the market the first half of the season.”

The market joined the Minnesota Market Bucks program last year and will continue to participate in it this summer, Fiero said. The Student Organic Farm also offers a 25% student discount on most produce.

The market this year offers new vendors and two different bike safety classes on July 24 and July 31, Fiero said.

According to Fiero, the market allows the community to come together and appreciate the University campus.

“Food always brings people together and I think this is a prime example of that,” Fiero said.

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