Minnesota Farmers' Markets will have an opportunity to celebrate their contributions to urban, suburban and rural communities during National Farmers' Market Week August 5-11, as proclaimed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
More than 4,300 farmers' markets across the country offer consumers farm-fresh products. The number of farmers' markets nationwide has increased by almost 20% since the USDA established its first farmers' market in 1994.
The popularity of farmers' markets has increased, in part, because of the interest in healthier foods and lifestyles and an increased understanding of the importance of maintaining small, sustainable farms.
Local farmers are able to offer consumers more choices, such as heirloom vegetables, heritage breeds of livestock, and other specialty products that are not likely to be mass marketed.
In Minnesota, there are nearly 90 farmers' markets. About one-fourth of these markets are members of the Minnesota Farmers' Market Association, established in 1998 to represent Minnesota farmers' markets as a focused voice and assist in growing and promoting more farmers' markets.
Local farmers' markets also receive promotion in the popular Minnesota Grown Directory, a list of nearly 700 members who offer their products for sale directly to consumers.
Some Farmers' Market Week activities include:
Farmers' Market – Shoreview
4580 Victoria St. N (upper parking lot)
3:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Appearance by Shoreview Mayor Sandy Martin who will read the Farmers Market Week Proclamation
Farmers' Market - White Bear Lake
Washington Ave. & 3rd St.
8:00 a.m. – noon
The Minnesota Honey Queen will "bee" on hand to promote home-grown honey
Farmers' Market - St. Joseph
Located under the city water tower
State Representative Larry Haws will read the Proclamation. Root beer floats will be served.
Mill City Farmers' Market - Minneapolis
"It's DeVine" - a celebration of local foods and local wines. Local wineries and market cheese makers pair up to introduce customers to new wines and cheeses, and discuss pairing options. Celebrity Chef Mary Ellen Evans will prepare French bistro dishes, featuring the market's free range chicken. She will also be signing and selling her cookbook.
Farmers' Market – Rochester
4th St. SE & 4th Ave. SE
7:30 a.m. – noon
Kids Day at the farmers market with an appearance by Rochester Mayor Brede - he will get his face painted and then read the Proclamation.
Farmers' Market - North Branch
Special activities for young and old alike from 8:00 a.m. - noon.
Farmers' Market – Hutchinson
Main St and Library Square
3:00 - 6:00 p.m. Wednesday; Saturday 8:00 a.m. – noon
Hutchinson City Council officially designates Farmers Market Week in Hutchinson.
Farmers' Market - Virginia
1303 8th St S
Tuesday & Thursday, 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Vendor samples, zucchini races and kids' activities.
For more information about the Minnesota Grown Program and a directory of Minnesota farmers' markets, visit www.mda.state.mn.us/food/minnesotagrown. For more information about the Minnesota Farmers' Market Association go to www.mfma.org.