Meet the Market // Extending the season

A few years ago, when it seemed likelier the Kingfield Farmers Market would stick around, we decided to make a big push and stretch the season through October. As the leaves turn, the produce turns to stew stuff — potatoes, squash, onions and other root vegetables — and people begin to buy larger quantities of meat for the freezer, not the grill. (Grass-fed chuck totally rocks for stew, by the way.)

Apples are the big draw now, with Honeycrisps and Harralsens in white buckets, and cider steaming in big urns. Ice cream has given way to hot chocolate, and the question — “hot coffee or iced?” — answers itself. This is the time of year when the cup doesn’t need a cardboard sleeve; you’re grateful for the warmth.

The weekly season always ends close to Halloween, the occasion for our annual Pumpkin carving contest. But this year, the Sunday markets conclude ON Halloween. Dress up your kids — they won’t mind being in costume early — and come on down.

But Dress-Up Day isn’t the final day of the market, not anymore. While the Kingfield Farmers Market is always heavy on food, we learned a few seasons ago that our craft vendors really needed a market closer to the Holiday shopping season — and our community didn’t quite want to let us go.

This year’s Holiday Market is on a Saturday (Nov. 13) instead of our usual Sunday date, at a slightly different time (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and at a new place: the King Park building, 41st and Nicollet.

We’ll have the food vendors you’ve come to love, and apples and cider and squash will fill the produce bins, waiting for you to whip it into a Thanksgiving side dish. There will be meat and cheese and chocolate for the table as well. Our prepared-food vendors, including Chef Shack and Foxy Falafel, will serve up the last doughnuts, fries and sandwiches of Kingfield 2010.

But the stars of this market are the craft vendors. We only have a few at the regular markets, but you’ll find a wider assortment at the Saturday Holiday Market. Jewelry, clothes and artwork should fill the spacious King Park gym, a funky, friendly alternative to the rat race of a mall store.

We always have an item or two you’ve literally never heard of. Thanks to the Holiday Market two years ago, our weekend breakfasts feature abelskivers, delectable doughnutty spheres rolled in a pan that looks built for poaching eggs.

The 2010 season has been our best yet, thanks to all of you. We’re not quite ready to stop, and we hope you can make a final date with us in November.


FYI
The Kingfield Farmers Market runs Sundays, 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m. at 43rd & Nicollet. It features locally grown food, music and more. Visit kingfieldfarmersmarket.org.