Community & Food – Minnesota Farmers Markets
The first week of August celebrates National Farmers Market week and in Minnesota these have more than doubled state-wide, in the last 10 years. Diverse Agriculture, a variety of produce grown and raised by farmers and producers alike, has made these markets prominent and exciting in both cities and rural areas. There were 5274 operational markets in 2009 today they number at 6132 nationwide.
An excellent place to go out and talk to your farmer, establish connections to your community and food.Minnesota Farmers Markets are a celebration of the state and each market has its own unique offering to the public. Each market offers something different in its scope of products or services which make it identify with its individual community. An association particular to these markets offers a newsletter with recipes, lists of seasonal produce and many more updates for every foodie to delight in.
The array of products available at all the markets are a selection of fresh crispy vegetables, juicy seductive fruit, bacon, pizza, eggs and meat, bison steaks, pork chops and legs of lamb, handmade ice creams, hot dogs, fresh breads, sweetcorn, caramelized popcorn,brats, craft made pickles, honey, gifts and Native American art, arts and crafts, handmade jewellery, speciality clothing. Flowers, plants, seedlings as well as art markets. You can visit nearby Galleries and points of Historical interest, breweries, entertainment, and specialised events are all organised for the day by the markets along with chef’s demonstrations and recipes for family meals during the week, Live music, children’s story times and other entertainment.
These markets are so much fun and other than bringing the community together and people eating healthier foods, there are other salient reasons why you should visit your Minnesota Farmers Markets; supporting your local farmers market keeps the money in the local economy, form relationships with your growers and know how they produce your food, you cannot get anything fresher than what is available at these markets. You are developing a sense of community, these events and venues inspire a vibrant nourishing local foodie community, excellent nutrition, the freshness and flavour of your food cannot be found anywhere else. Simply put it is quality par excellence.
Minnesota’s agriculture has a very important role in the state’s economy, they have introduced an immigrant farming programme to help immigrant farmers, selling this produce at the markets helps support their families.52 Craft Breweries have brought in USD $ 742 million to Minnesota’s economy in 2012 and the growth of these breweries has risen by 48% between 2011 and 2013.As one of the top six Honey producers they have a protect pollinators legislation to increase bee populations and Honey production. It has 81000 farms on 26.9 million acres of land; the average farm size is 332 acres. Hogs are the state’s top producing livestock and come second as the nation’s Bison producers; they also produce elk and ostriches.
If you find yourself wondering where, how and who about your groceries and foodstuffs look no further than your local market.