Category Archives: Farmer’s Markets

Pick a Veggie, Pick a Winner – It’s Farmers Market Week!

If you’re the sort that plans ahead when you make your regular trek to the farmers’ market, here’s something to add to this week’s list – August 2-8 is the 16th annual Farmers Market Celebration (http://www.agriview.com/news/business/celebrate-national-farmers-market-week/article_071c18c9-d25d-5bc1-9570-b547f6d234b3.html

For farmers market regulars the celebration features a lively web-based contest to identify “the cream of the crop, the best of America’s farmers markets.” Before you restock the larder, take time to cast your vote for your favorite market at http://markets.farmland.org/?_ga=1.57656936.354048519.1438709167

Though shoppers may have their own enthusiastic responses, the Farmers Market Coalition answers the “Why” of farmers markets with a great graphic that depicts the ways in which farmers markets stimulate local economics, preserve farmland and rural livelihoods, increase access to fresh food, and support healthy communities. (http://farmersmarketcoalition.org/programs/national-farmers-market-week/) Lots of data to support the economic and health benefits of growing, buying and eating local!

The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/women-infants-and-children-wic) is a key player in the Farmers Market Celebration. Through the agency’s WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program — affectionately known as FMNP (http://www.fns.usda.gov/fmnp/wic-farmers-market-nutrition-program-fmnp) WIC participants are able to access locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs that promote the well-being and health of families. Last year 1.6 million WIC participants received FMNP benefits which surpassed $14.1 million in total revenue for participating farmers and farmers markets. Participants in the FMNP also receive nutrition education including how to best select, store and prepare the fresh fruits and vegetables purchased with FMNP benefits.

Since it’s already mid-week you may have visited your nearby farmers market already – if so, fix yourself a bowl of fresh fruit and relax while you cast your vote for the farmer who grew and marketed the nutritious treat. If you’re a weekend shopper, wish your vendor a happy Farmers Market Week and be sure to get her name right so you can later cast an informed vote for your favorite local grower.

 

 

 

National Farmers Market Week — Fresh veggies, friendly farmers, & something for the philatelist!

As we all know, everything’s coming in a little late this year – including the news that this very week, August 3-9, 2014 is National Farmers Market Week!   Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack thus declared the fifteenth annual observation in an official proclamation. The USDA is quick to remind us that there are “Thousands of Reasons to Celebrate National Farmers Market Week” — but we already knew that…. [http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/08/04/thousands-of-reasons-to-celebrate-national-farmers-market-week/]

Farmers market development “is a cornerstone of the USDA’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative” which coordinates the USDA’s policy, resources, and outreach efforts related to local and regional food systems, one of the pillars of USDA’s commitment to rural economic development.

To celebrate National Farmers Market Week the U.S. Post Office has issued four Forever postage stamps, each depicting a chapter of the farmers market story – the first stamp offers an array of fresh breads, artisan cheese, eggs and cookies; a second stamp features veggies and fruits of every persuasion; the third stamp sports a lush array of fresh cut flowers; the fourth depicts live plants, herbs, colorful fruits and flowers. All of the items bear handwritten labels that identify the product and its price. The stamps are designed by Greg Breeding with illustrations by Robin Moline.

For the most part Minnesotans know their farmers market – site, hours, specialties, friendly growers, their ethnicity and their progeny! Farmers markets have become the town square of many towns and urban neighborhoods. There are countless guides to the possibilities! Each market sports its own personality, produce and promoters – try asking a random group about their favorite farmers market – observe the lively display of local farmers market chauvinism!

At great risk of missing the reader’s favorite, here is just a small starter sampler of the readily accessible guides to all that friendly freshness!

http://mfma.org – website of the Minnesota Farmers Market Association

http://www.mdastate.mn.us/food/ – Minnesota Department of Agriculture publication

http://www.stpaulfarmersmarket.com – guide to the St. Paul Farmers’ Market

http://www.mplsfarmersmarket.com/FreshNews/ – guide to the Minneapolis Farmers Market

http://www.farmersmarketonline.com/fm/Minnesota.htm

There are scores of other guides, organized by every conceivable categorical possibility.   Surf the Net to sample the season’s harvest!

 Whether you’re a farmer, a merchant

or a happy and healthy customer

Celebrate

Happy National Farmers Market Week

August 3-0, 2014

 

 

Amy Fields Builds Eastside Food Co-op as a Vital Community Resource

When you think Eastside Food Co-op – think ROOTS.  First come images of root vegetables – carrots, beets, yams, parsnips, radishes and all of those staples of the summer garden and the winter dinner table.

When Amy Fields speaks of roots it’s about the roots of the EFC itself, the core values that have shaped the community resource since its beginning,  Like those vegetable roots, the vision of the Coop is sometimes buried, more visible in a flourishing program than in the ideas that  lie beneath the surface 

When the first shoots of EFC sprouted in 2003 and for the first few years of operation, the focus was on the tangible — the plant sale, the farmers’ market, building a revenue stream and a sense of community among the thirteen neighborhoods, the schools, nonprofit civic and service organizations in Northeast.  Always at the root were the implicit core principles of training and community building.

As the store has grown and the revenue stream has stabilized EFC is able to focus on the less tangible but no less real goals of the cooperative.  The developments are visible.

  • Outreach opportunities, particularly with education and training programs.  EFC’s services now reach an area that incorporates Columbia Heights, Roseville, and St. Anthony Village with programs such as the Senior Wisdom Program in Roseville, classes at Northeast and Pillsbury Schools and start-up support for the new co-op on the Northside.
  • Expanded collaboration with a wider range of community organizations, such as the Northeast Regional Library and Neighborhood Healthsource and the University of Minnesota on a shared approach to identifying and meeting the health and nutrition needs of the area.
  • The success of the Recovery Bike Shop which has led to meeting the interests and shopping interests of a common customer base.
  • The popularity of the Yoga  Studio and the wellness program as prime services of the EFC.

By far the most visible is EFC’s development of the Granite Studio as a major community gathering place for learning and community building. 

  • The popular Indoor Farmers’ Market. 
  • Monthly movie nights, third Thursdays at 7:00 p.m, have become a community staple.  EFC has hosted a powerful program of community film screenings for adults and children – all free and open, complete with popcorn!
  • Northeast Network sessions that meet the second Thursday of every month, 7:30 -9:00 a.m. offer a unique opportunity for Northeast neighbors to explore a range of community options and concerns – from development of the Mississippi, to the arts agenda, to the impact of Census 2010 findings.  Northeast Networks provide a venue for concerned residents to learn, to share experience and ideas – not to mention energy.  Elected officials participate as learners and listeners.  All ideas are welcome.  Again, free and open to all, complimentary tempting treats provided.  Though the program ends by 9:00 sharp, the discussions continue and the ideas that flow are better informed and often reinforced and expanded as they mature.
  • The Granite Studio has also been the venue for countless groups ranging including a USDA hearing on meat safety, meetings of the Northeast Investment Cooperative and the Sierra Club, Art-A-Whirl events and a recent kickoff for Altered Aesthetics.

 One subtle service of EFC that caught my imagination was the Co-op’s support of local musicians.  Because the music played on the market’s audio system must be licensed, EFC offers an easy option.  Local musicians are free to upload their digital offerings to the Co-op which will then play the music on the in-store system.   

The fertile minds of Amy Fields, her staff and board seem to know no bounds. 

Right now they are planning EFC’s participation in August Eat Local Month.  One feature of EFC’s participation will be a special thank you to Co-op members – a generous bag of EFC groceries for members participating in National Night Out , August 7, 2012 – one way Amy wants to thank the people who share by supporting the Eastside Food Co-op on a regular basis.

The harvest of services, programs and ideas implicit in the  seeds of those original core principles is plentiful indeed.  This community is enriched by the Eastside Food Co-op.

Contacts:  info@eastsidefood.coop

www.eastsidefood.coop

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate the much maligned honeybee during September

Thanks to the St. Anthony Village Farmers Market I know and want to share that we are now celebrating National Honey Month.  Who knew!  The bee keepers and those involved with processing and selling honey, including the growing number of farmers’ market committed to the locavore movement.

The National Honey Board, which has celebrated Honey Month since 1969, has a delightful blog full of fascinating facts, tips, games, recipes, beauty tips.  Grab a couple of delectable honey sticks and spend some time learning more about this tasty and useful natural resource.  Or pick up a generous jar of locally grown honey at the farmer’s market during your next visit.  And don’t forget to treat that pesky honeybee with some real respect.

17th Avenue Farmer’s Market Serves Northeast Neighborhoods

Sunshine, rain and lots of work bear fruit – literally – with the crops of Summer ’11.  Northeast neighbors are finding a new source of fresh produce and much more at the new 17th Avenue Farmer’s Market located in the parking lot of St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral.

The Market fills a gap in the expanding array of open markets popping up throughout the Twin Cities.  Residents of four neighborhoods – Holland, Sheridan, Logan Park and Bottineau – worked together to create a unique neighborhood market presence in a unique local setting.

The 17th Avenue Farmer’s Market is open each Wednesday afternoon through the end of September.  Hours are 1:00-7:00 p.m. Produce options continue to expand while other offerings include honey, jams, salsas, sweet breads, meat, eggs, cut flowers and more.  All of the produce vendors are WIC/FMNP certified.  The Magic Bus Café! pays a visit to  the site once a month.

On the third Monday of the month the Market offers a unique feature – a style show!  It’s  hosted by the Eastside Thrift Shop on Central Avenue.  Local models select outfits from the store and model them at the market.  The Eastside Thrift Shop is on hand every week to accept donations.

Market planners are currently looking for local volunteers to add music, magic and more to the weekly Market.

Call for Models for N.E. Thrift Shop Fashion Show

Face it – You belong on the runway, strutting your stuff, selling the latest fashion to an eager public.  Your chance is at hand.  Thrift Store (formerly Silver Angel) is planning a fashion show for June 15 and they’re looking for models of every age, stature, experience to show off their hot merchandise.  Manager of the store is Lynn Albright.  You’re find more on the web.

Thrift Store is at 1928 Central Avenue Northeast.  612 789 0600  Hours are Mon-Fri 10-6 and Saturday 10-5.

Watch for Thrift Store at the new Village Farmer’s Market at St. Mary’s Cathedral where they will have a presence on hand during Market hours Wednesdays 3:00-7:00.

Village Farmer’s Market Opens – and Expands in Northeast

Farmer’s Markets are popping up all over Northeast Minneapolis!  During the months to come we will be visiting and reporting on the wide variety of options available to Northeast customers.  For Windom Park residents the news is that Village Farmer’s Market is not waiting this year for Lindners to move on.  The season starts on Monday, June 6, with Sidewalk Days – vendors open on the sidewalk outside shops in St. Anthony Village Shopping Center.  June 6-27 the Sidewalk market will be open Mondays, 3:00-7:00 p.m.  The traditional market on the SAV parking lot opens July 11 – no Market on the 4th.

Meanwhile, the Village Farmer’s Market has opened another site at St. Mary’s Cathedral parking lot, 1701 6th Street Northeast.  A visit to the new site last week offered promise of a great site, a mix of vendors, and a welcoming atmosphere.  The St. Mary’s Cathedral is open Wednesday afternoons throughout the summer.

Updates at http://www.thevillagefarmersmarket.org.