Meet the Market: The eat local challenge

Locavore. Organic. CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture). Farmers markets. You’ve probably heard these terms tossed around describing our local food scene. This month is the perfect time to dig in and put your money where your mouth is: from Aug. 15–Sept. 15, our neighborhood food co-ops are challenging us to eat local.

It’s peak harvest season for summertime favorites like green beans, sweet corn, blueberries, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, so why not celebrate the bounty of crops from Minnesota farms?

Some of us are die-hard locavores (preferring locally produced foods), sourcing ingredients from farmers markets or growing veggies in the garden. Some of us don’t care. Maybe you’re curious to find about what the buzz is all about but aren’t ready for the commitment that comes with a CSA (where you purchase a share from a farm and in return receive a box of produce weekly). Not to worry, our community has plenty of resources available whether you’re a dabbler or a die-hard.

A trip to your local farmers market is a family-friendly outing. At Fulton Farmers Market, you can buy produce directly from farmers, listen to tunes, partake in cooking demos or grab a snack. A purchase of a $50 Market CSA from Gardens of Eagan gets you $55 worth of produce which can be redeemed at their stand anytime during the season. Simply present your Market CSA card when you shop; purchases are tracked on the card. It’s a thrifty option and you’re supporting a home-grown business. If cooking’s not up your alley, you can grab already-prepared local eats from a food vendor: GaiGai Thai (Fulton and Kingfield Farmers Markets) is a new start-up that uses all-natural chicken from family owned and operated Kadejan for their popular wings, and Foxy Falafel (Mill City and Kingfield Farmers Markets) regularly shops the farmers markets to make the delicious pickles that accompany their menu offerings.

Maybe you prefer shopping in a store. Our co-ops helpfully label the origins of their wares so it’s easy to pick out items that are Minnesota-made. The Linden Hills Co-op offers classes to spread the word about eating local. On Aug. 27 they’ll have a class on CSAs, where you can meet the team behind Waxwing Farm, a regular vendor at the Fulton Farmers Market who has CSA shares available.

So get out there and eat local! Your tummies and taste buds will thank you.

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