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A Schedule of Farmers Markets Produce AvailabilityThe summer season in Minnesota is known for wavy fields of grass, swimming on one of the thousands of warm beaches, and the warm pleasant evenings. But, what is becoming more and more known throughout the Gopher State is the number of ways to purchase local produce. Farmers markets are experiencing a surge in popularity and whether that's because people are becoming more interested in eating healthier or choosing local food more frequently, the results are the same: There are more farmers markets available in Minnesota than ever before.

The Minnesota Grown Directory has a comprehensive list of markets and CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) for you to choose from. You can search by location or by service. It's a fantastic resource that will bring you to your nearest local producer.

So, is this your first time looking into farmers markets? No sweat. Here are a couple tips to get you going.

1) Come Prepared

There is going to be a ton of delicious food to choose from, but you want to be able to get it home in good order. If you bring a reusable cloth bag, you'll be able to let your larger veggies breathe without getting moist in a plastic bag. Also, the three R's, right?

Lot's of producers are able to take credit cards through their mobile phones, but the ability is not guaranteed, so bring cash to be sure. Also, a lot of markets are able to utilize EBT payments. But, again, this is not guaranteed, so be to check ahead.

2) Arrive Early

The best stuff will be all gone if you take your time getting to the market. So check when the market starts, refer to the chart on the right to best know what's going to be available. It pays to do your homework a bit.

3) Arrive Late

On the other hand, if you're looking for a bargain, being around when the closing bell rings may have its advantages. However, the important thing to remember is the quality of the produce.

4) Talk With the Farmer

So, if this is your first time to the market, you're going to see all sorts of food that look different. But, don't worry. You've got a resource that right there. The producer is going to know the best way to prepare, cook, and store the food laying in between you. Also, for a real treat. Ask them produce-farmers-market-vegetableshow they'd cook the food in front of them. They'll help you pick out the ripest fruit, the best tasting veggies.

The point is, once you chat with the farmer, you'll get a better idea of how they grow the food you're about to buy. They've got the experience, so use them!

5) Don't Be Afraid of the Ugly Produce

Folks can be fickle about the food they eat and if that peach lacks just the right blush and if that apple isn’t perfectly round, they can be difficult to sell. The flavor is the same and these fruits and vegetables are great to preserve for the winter months. Be sure to check the produce before making your purchase.

 

 

 

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