Market time

A guide to southwest Minneapolis-area farmers markets

Bodylish at the Fulton Farmers Market. Credit: Photo by Michelle Bruch

The farmers markets are back, and the Fulton Farmers Market recently enjoyed its first sunny opening day in years. 

The following is a guide to the new mid-week Nokomis Market, along with a glance at new vendors — like made-from-scratch bagels by Rise Bagel Co. and chai popsicles by Saint Pops — and an overview of new market features, such as Linden Hills’ early morning wholesale market for chefs.

Fulton Farmers Market

Opening date: May 17

When it runs: Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Location: 4901 Chowen Ave. S.

What’s new:

—Rise Bagel Co. is founded by two sisters who traveled the world researching bagel recipes.

“They saw a void for that in the Twin Cities market,” said Alexandra Cortes, executive director of the Kingfield, Nokomis and Fulton markets.

— Luster Lands Organic Farm offers a variety of non-GMO, pesticide-free, rare organic heirloom vegetables. It operates a biodynamic farm, meaning workers strive to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem.

— Auntie Annie’s Fields dedicates part of its land to the Mainstreet Project to aide aspiring Latino chicken farmers.

— Roundtable Coffee Works roasts for the new shop Five Watt Coffee at 38th & Nicollet.— Hand Harvested Wild Rice Co., based in Bemidji, also appears at the Kingfield market.

— Saint Pops, made in St. Paul, also visits the Kingfield market. Co-founder Jennifer Helm grew tired of watching her son’s mouth turn bright pink after eating popsicles made with high-fructose corn syrup, and her son didn’t like the texture of healthy ones on the market. So she started making her own popsicles using fresh ingredients. Helm teamed up with Gita Mazumdar, a native of India with a deep knowledge of spices.

“All of the ice pops have a little something in them,” Helm said. “We buy ingredients from farmers at the farmers market.”

Flavors include strawberry cardamom, blueberry lemon mint, pear and rosemary, and chai (featuring a homemade chai recipe). A coffee-flavored pop is made with Dunn Bros dark roast and mixed with coconut milk.

Linden Hills Farmers Market

Opening date: June 1

When it runs: Sunday, 7-9 am. (wholesale), 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (retail)

Location: 2813 W. 43rd St., Settergren’s parking lot

What’s new:

For the first two hours of the Linden Hills market, chefs and grocers are invited to buy in bulk.

The idea came from the Linden Hills Farmers Market Board, which is comprised of several chefs including Tilia’s Steven Brown.

“They said it would be great to have a place to shop,” said Market Manager Libby Wyrum.

Traditionally, restaurateurs shop at online message boards, inherit a grower list from a predecessor, or field sales pitches from farmers with samples.

“It’s not easy,” said Wyrum, who previously worked as a food consultant. “There is a lot of opportunity, and a lot of untapped potential. … A lot of relationships need to happen over the table.”

Wyrum said the new wholesale market would accommodate the way chefs buy food: by the palette or by the case, with invoices and non-cash transactions.

The Linden Hills Market is also accommodating new food entrepreneurs like Serious Jam, based at City Food Studio at 38th & Chicago. Wyrum said she’s run into many startups that aren’t ready to commit to a full season, as they often work primary day jobs as well.

“They are weekend warriors with their small businesses,” Wyrum said.

So Wyrum set up a flexible spot for startups to participate when they can.

“We’re talking to so many farmers market entrepreneurs who never did a market before,” Wyrum said.

 

Nokomis Farmers Market

Opening date: June 25

When it runs: Wednesday, 4-8 p.m. on June 25, July 23 and Aug. 27

Location: 52nd & Chicago, in the parking lot of First Evangelical Free Church

About the market:

This brand new market features about 25 vendors from the Kingfield and Fulton Farmers Markets, along with a few newbies (the group Neighborhood Roots manages all three markets).

“It’s a chance for people who run out of veggies mid-week to stock up on groceries,” Cortes said.

The idea for the market was generated by the Hale-Page-Diamond Lake Community Association. Upon learning that weekend market demand was fairly saturated, they decided to test out a mid-week market on a monthly basis.

The first market will feature a demo on how to raise backyard chickens.

Food trucks will include The Moral Omnivore, Dumpling and Foxy Falafel.

Watch for these new vendors:

— D&L Farms, a husband-and-wife team from the neighborhood, offers a variety of vegetables and lots of fruits, including honeyberries, plums, melons and tomatoes.

— Patti’s Granola, made by Minneapolis hockey mom Patti Heimbold, also appears at the Fulton market. Heimbold has hand-chopped her honey almond granola for years. Friends continually urged her to go into business, and she acquiesced last year.

“People call me and order 10 pounds at a time for their family,” she said. “They say, ‘My kids never ate breakfast, but they take your granola in the car.'”

She also makes rosemary nuts that are popular around the holidays.

— Sun Street Breads is using the market to test out breads made from non-commodity grains, with a focus on local growers.

 

Kingfield Farmers Market

Opening date: May 18

When it runs: Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Location: 4310 Nicollet Ave. S.

What’s new:

— Red Table Meat Co. is selling charcuterie. Based in Northeast, Red Table Meat buys whole pigs from small sustainable farms and ensures the pigs are treated humanely. “We encourage eating less meat, and with our salami, less means more flavor,” reads the company’s statement. “Full of probiotics, dry cured meat is an infinitely safer and healthier meat choice.”

— North Waters Smokehaus, based in Duluth, also sells charcuterie and uses local, sustainably-raised meats and fish.

 

Stevens Square Mini Market

Opening date: July 2

When it runs: Wednesday, 2-6:30 p.m.

Location: Plymouth Church parking lot at corner of Nicollet & Franklin

What’s new:

Locals continue to discover the Stevens Square Mini Market, now in its seventh year.

Vendors include Hmong farmers Chou Vang and his relative Chou Yang, who work on land in Woodbury. Resident Robert Skafte also tends a plot at a community garden and sells flowers and greens, including his popular kale.

“Back when I first started growing it, nobody knew what it was,” he said. “I used to have to sell people on it and explain what it was. Now it’s a superfood.”

The Mini Market now accepts EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, part of the program formerly known as food stamps).