What to expect when you’re expecting a new market?
Eleven years after we opened the Kingfield Farmers Market, we’ll be kicking off the new Fulton Farmers Market on Saturday, May 21. (Kingfield’s opener is the next day.)
How excited are people? A week ago, I was unloading chairs into the storage shed at Lake Harriet United Methodist Church, our Fulton site at 4901 Chowen. A family, on their way in for a weeknight church activity, did a 180 when they correctly deduced tangible evidence that the new market was really going to happen. Their huge smiles and eager questions were enough to keep a gruntworker going through several more loads.
So what will Fulton be like? In the past decade, Kingfield has built a reputation as a cozy but complete market, low-key, easy to navigate, a free-flowing casual community party every Sunday. That won’t change. While Fulton will develop its own personality, we expect the same sort of down-home, belly-filling fun every Saturday.
The early season markets balance spring fever with Minnesota’s fresh — dare we say cheeky? — growing season. You should expect to see plenty of food items — meat, cheese, eggs, honey, baked goods (Patisserie 46 and Sun Street Breads). There should be some greenhouse vegetables, perhaps very early greens, and definitely bedding plants.
But we’re committed to food produced within 150 miles, and that means adjusting our rhythms to the land’s. A few years ago, a woman got mad at us for not having fruit in May. We had to explain Minnesota fruit just doesn’t work that way.
But that’s where the fun comes in. People flock to our prepared food vendors: Chef Shack’s Indian-spiced mini-donuts, Big River’s wood-fired pizzas, Gai Gai Thai’s hearty stir-fries. That smiling family will face the delightful maddening choice of buttery delights from Patisserie and Sun Street, and once they’ve figured that out, which fresh bread to get them through the weekend and week.
We’re planning activities, too — the Park Board will be providing kids activities, and we hope to have a bike repair clinic at the opening market. Cooking demos from our new sponsor Edina Grill are also on tap. So there will be no shortage of fun.
The two markets are already helping each other. We’re adding Gai Gai Thai to the Kingfield offerings, along with Chef Shack, Foxy Falafel, Sun Street and Sonny’s Ice Cream. We’re also adding a couple of new organic vegetable sellers and some great promotions with our premiere sponsor, Nicollet Ace Hardware.
In short, we’re pretty excited about being able to offer our area more markets, vendors and choices. Can’t wait to see you May 21–22!
Fulton Farmers Market
49th & Chowen
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
May 21–Oct. 29
Follow on Twitter @fultonmarketmn
Kingfield Farmers Market
4310 Nicollet Ave.
Sundays, 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
May 22–Oct. 30
Follow on Twitter @kingfieldmarket