Meet the market // Holiday fest

Kingfield Farmers Market folks holding holiday fest

The tents and tables are back in the shed. The Fresenius parking lot is quiet on Sundays. The volunteers, if not the vendors, are able to sleep in.

It all signals the end of the season for the Kingfield Farmers Market … except it’s not.

Every year for the last few, we’ve avoided cold turkey by selling frozen turkey … or frozen meat, anyway, and lots more stuff at our Holiday Food Festival. Held the Sunday before Thanksgiving (this year, Nov. 22), the Festival is not only a great way to rekindle market relationships after a mere three weeks, but it’s also a chance to do all your holiday shopping in one fun swoop.

The Fest, which runs at normal market times (8:30 a.m.–1 p.m.) isn’t exactly like a regular market. There are lots more crafts and gifts, though food often plays a significant role in both. (Last year, a pan and a mix opened my eyes to joys of aebleskivers, round sugary doughnut-like Danish delights spun in what looks like a big escargot plate.) There was coffee to drink, coffee to buy, coffee treats to give, not to mention chocolate, chocolate, chocolate — homemade right here in the Twin Cities.

There are even a precious few consumables from regular Sundays. Denny Havlicek still has buckets of his fabulous apples (I’m partial to the Haralsons), and we lock in at least one … they keep in our basement pantry until at least Christmas. Jerry brings his canned goods, which never seem more important than right now, since even the unprepared can buy their way into fresh-tasting pears, peaches and the homemade spaghetti sauce to die for.

Like the regular markets, the Festival wouldn’t happen without amazing community input. The biggest contributor, this year as in the past, is Rau + Barber Photography. A few years ago, Stephanie Rau and John Barber built a sunny, open building on Nicollet to do their photo shoots. As you can imagine, photographers who can afford to do that are pretty damn good, but they also do good, clearing away their lights, props and other equipment so two dozen or more vendors can spread out. They’ve also hosted Kingfield’s art auction, so at least twice a year, they’re willing to let us trundle through their sparkling new space. We can’t thank them enough.

But more important than all this are the people that come through the doors. They’ve made our regular markets a fabulous success, enough that we can add spiffs like more tables, chairs and tents to our Fresenius site next year. But as we all know (and sometimes try to block out) Thanksgiving also marks the time when the snow flies and seeing neighbors requires snow boots, not a stroll through a screen door. We’ll always remain a community, but a more scattered one. Standing in the warmth of Rau + Barber’s space, amid people with whom we’ve spent some great summer moments, we can break bread … and chocolate … one more time.

Kingfield Holiday Food Festival
4244 Nicollet Ave. S.
Sunday, Nov. 22, 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m.