Mingling at the market

When it’s summer in Minneapolis and the weather is cooperating, everything is better outside — including grocery shopping. The city is home to several farmers’ markets with all kinds of locally grown and organic products. Here’s a sampling of some of the most popular markets in the Downtown area and Southwest.

Mill City Farmers’ Market
Location: Chicago Avenue & 2nd Street South, between the Guthrie Theater and the Mill City Museum. Two parking ramps are located across from both buildings on 2nd Street. Metered parking is along 2nd Street and West River Road.
Hours: Saturdays, 8 a.m.–1 p.m.
Season: May 10–Oct. 18

Market overview: All of the roughly 80 vendors at the Mill City Farmers’ Market are local residents, and most are certified fair trade or organic. However, even uncertified vendors typically practice the standards of the fair trade and organic industries. The market currently boasts goods ranging from Guatemalan coffee and natural pet food to textiles and potted herbs. Sweet corn and other fresh fruits and vegetables will be added as the growing season progresses. Of particular interest are live food demos and the on-site crafting of hand-woven Peruvian rugs. With its popular fresh-squeezed lemonade and limeade, the Muddsuckers Coffee booth draws attention on warm Saturday afternoons. Due to issues of liability and safety, the Mill City Farmers’ Market unfortunately does not allow dogs or other pets on the market premises.
Contact information: E-mail [email protected]
or call 341-7580.

Lyndale Farmers’ Market
Location: 312 E. Lyndale Ave. N.
Hours: Weekdays, 6 a.m.–1 p.m.; Weekends, 6 a.m.–2 p.m.
Season: End of April until Thanksgiving

Market overview: There may be as many as 20 vendors during the week, and the number grows as fresh produce arrives, meaning the vendors have to bring the produce out every day. The market is much busier on the weekends, with 180 vendors. The market has many different types of fruits and vegetables. On weekends, they also carry meat, such as chicken, beef, pork, lamb, and dairy products such as cheese and milk, as well as honey and baked goods. The market changes with the season, as more fruits, vegetables and flowers come into season.
Contact information: E-mail [email protected], visit www.mplsfarmersmarket.com or call 333-1718.

Kingfield Farmers’ Market
Location: West 43rd Street & Nicollet
Hours: Sundays, 9 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Season: June–Oct. 12
Market overview: The market is made up of 21 vendors selling a small number of wares every Sunday. There are a couple of lots selling vegetables, but food is not at all the most abundant of products featured at the market. There is pottery and postcards, live music and women’s clothing. There are many bake-off competitions interspersed throughout the summer. There was a rhubarb bake-off June 8, and there are corn, apple, and pumpkin bake-offs coming up.
Contact information: Call Sheila Delaney at 823-5980 ext. 3.

Nicollet Mall Farmers’ Market
Location: Nicollet Mall, from 5th to 12th streets
Hours: Thursdays, 6 a.m.–6 p.m.
Season: End of April–Nov. 8
Market overview: Nicollet Mall is the offspring of the Lyndale Farmers’ Market. Lyndale splits on Thursday, and about half of the vendors from the Lyndale Farmers’ Market go to the Nicollet Mall Farmers’ Market for the convenience of reaching Downtown workers. Market visitors can find many different types of fruits and vegetables and fresh flowers.
Contact information: E-mail [email protected], visit www.mplsfarmersmarket.com or call 333-1718.