Kingfield and Fulton farmer markets May 18–19 return — five great things to look for

This winter was like a colicky infant: you think the screaming will never stop, but amnesia sets in surprisingly fast when the pain ends. Our farmers and staff have spent six months planning the Kingfield Farmers Market’s 13th Sunday season, and Fulton Farmers Market’s third Saturday campaign. Maybe we’ll subtitle this year the Winter Obliteration Tour.

Despite the late spring, we’ll have full sites and again provide 48 great community festivals through October. Here are five things about the 2013 season to look forward to: 

1. Don’t rule out opening week veggies. Despite the very late spring, some veggie vendors built or expanded greenhouses, and if all breaks right, will sell from their indoor stock at our early markets. At press time, one of our Fulton farmers predicts, “Spinach, Swiss Chard, red and French breakfast radishes, salad mix, arugula, baby red kale, maybe nettle, maybe chives, and plant starts.”

2. We’ll have more Fulton veggie vendors. There’s no doubt veggies are the number-one farmers market attraction and we’re pumping up the count at our Saturday market. Among others, we’ll have a new oyster mushroom vendor and a wider variety of Asian and specialty vegetables in a more attractive, European-market-style layout. Kingfield is already stuffed with veggies, and that won’t change. In fact, both of our markets meet the city’s “60 percent” requirement for agricultural producers — not every market does.

3. All your prepared food favorites are back! At Fulton, Big River Pizza will bake up gorgeous farm-fresh whole pizzas; the aroma of Patisserie 46’s especially fine pastries will waft over the site; and Chef Shack’s big red truck will sling breakfast and lunch. At Kingfield, you can choose from Sun Street Breads’ whole grain goodness, Bogart Loves’ brioche donuts or creamy caramel-chocolate brownies, Gai Gai Thai’s steaming rice bowls, Foxy’s falafel and Chef Shack’s hangover hash and soft shell crab.

4. Weekly family art project. Fulton artist Gail Katz-James, best known for the popular Fulton Favorites yard signs children and adults created a few years ago, will work with families at free Saturday art workshops from May 25 (our second weekend) through July 20.

5. Food and environmental justice. Last year, Kingfield and Fulton farmers donated 6,927 pounds of veggies to local food shelves via the Garden Gleaning Project — that’s over three tons, a record they will likely top this year! Just another reason these generous people deserve your patronage. Again in 2013, our markets will be zero-waste — everything sold for on-site consumption is compostable or recyclable, collected on-site.

For updates throughout the year, please check out our websites at kingfieldfarmersmarket.org and fultonfarmersmarket.org, on Facebook (search for our market names) or Twitter @kingfieldmarket and @fultonmarketmn. Looking forward to seeing you this year and consigning winter to a slushy grave!