Midtown Farmers Market: Week 1–The Market Returns

Steve West welcomes visitors with music

It’s finally here! It’s been pretty warm in Minnesota for about a month, but that only made the lack of fresh local produce seem even crueler. As of yesterday, the food drought was over with the advent of the Midtown Farmers Market. Martha and I were so excited that we arrived shortly after market open at eight and within a few minutes were enjoying our traditional farmers breakfast of tamales and coffee.

Oaxacan Tamales Oaxacan Tamales are Delicious!

It was fun to see all our friends from last summer back at the market, as well as to welcome some new faces. Particularly promising is the stall for Gardens of Eagan, which in addition to the expected herb and veggie starters already had strawberries. Apparently hoop houses and a crazy-warm April can make this happen. For those who missed the market’s opener, their chalk board promised more strawberries and lettuce next week.

a chalk board stand at Gardens of Eagan Ramps from Real Bread!

Looking back at last year, all I bought on the first day of the market (May 2, 2009) was a chicken, mutton and salsa – nothing fresh from the ground. Even though this year’s first market was a day earlier, I did a lot better for fresh produce: in addition to the aforementioned strawberries there were ramps foraged from the wilds of Wisconsion by Brett ‘Real Bread’ Laidlaw. There was also spinach available, had we been so inclined. As with last year, I couldn’t pass up a pound of that delicious ground mutton, and we also picked up a bag of spicy almonds from market fixture Barsy’s. This haul of food – already featuring fresh fruits and veggies – bodes well for the rest 0f the summer.

Strawberries, ramps, lamb, and almonds

The Midtown Farmers Market is open Saturdays from May to October from 8am to 1pm and Tuesdays from June to October from 3pm to 7pm. The market is located at the corner of Lake St and Hiawatha, across from the YWCA.

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