As we roll into summer, the number and variety of fruits and veggies at the market is ever increasing. Fresh lettuces, radishes, cucumbers, rainbow chard and potatoes are sharing the spotlight with black raspberries and luscious strawberries. Sweet corn is just around the corner, and we’re all anxiously awaiting those summer tomatoes. All that gorgeous produce is just part of it.
Locally produced meats, eggs, ice cream and cheeses, along with fresh-from-the-oven breads, strawberry turnovers, chocolate and homemade jams are all ripe for the sampling every Sunday morning.
Chef Shack’s mini-donuts paired with Palmira’s locally roasted coffee provide the perfect eye-opener for those of us at the market’s 8:30 am opening. Ever have a falafel for breakfast? If not, Foxy Falafel can show you how it’s done. You might be surprised.
There are a lot of measures by which the Kingfield Farmers Market is seeing success this year, our 10th season. Each week, up to 1,500 folks are stopping by to shop, browse, graze, chat and hang out. They’re not coming just from Kingfield, but from locales all over the metro, and they’re making their treks here because of what they feel is a farmers market of, “the perfect size and scale.” As the new market manager this year, that is the consistent feedback I’m hearing from our friends.
And while we pride ourselves on being local — our sharp new T-shirts this year proclaim, “I’m local” — the market is lending itself to some bigger efforts with a wider focus on the greater good for local agriculture and equitable access to fresh food.
While there are a number of community gardens and small urban farms across the Twin Cities metro — they can be found in each of the wards of Minneapolis — some neighborhood groups find that the leases are too short-term and temporary, and some have trouble accessing quality gardening sites at all. The Kingfield Farmers Market staff has been collaborating with a number of local nonprofits involved in urban agriculture and land preservation to develop plans to expand accessing and permanently maintain these community gardens, both within Minneapolis and beyond.
If you look around the metro and the number of neighborhood farmers markets that have popped up over the years, it’s still easy to find pockets where, we feel, some do not have adequate access to fresh, local foods. Right now, our staff and volunteers are strategizing on how we as an organization can help expand Twin Cities’ residents’ access to locally grown food. We’ve got quite a few ideas, and they’ll take more planning to develop, yet we’re pretty confident that our efforts will be adding new market opportunities to the landscape in the years to come.
In the meantime, we’ll still be doing what we do; providing our community with an ever growing list of fresh produce, tasty treats and a festive little spot to come hear music, chat with your friends and neighbors and just plain veg out.
John Brosnan is the manager of the Kingfield Farmers Market.
Kingfield Farmers Market
The market runs every Sunday through October, 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m. at 43rd & Nicollet. It features locally grown food, music and more. For more information, visit kingfieldmarket.org or email John at [email protected]