St. Paul, MN: Warmer weather and longer days mean it’s time for farmers’ markets to open for the season. At your local farmers’ market this year, customers will still be able to support Minnesota farmers and producers by purchasing all of their favorite produce and products, with a few new changes to ensure everyone’s safety.
Minnesota Farmers’ Markets have been deemed an essential business and market vendors and managers are working hard to plan a safe and successful season. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Shopping the Farmers’ Market during COVID-19 guide helps customers know what they can do to ensure a safe market visit too.
Market shoppers should expect that things will look a little different this year at the market. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers’ markets have implemented new practices for protecting the health and safety of vendors and customers. These new practices may include physical barriers to separate customers and vendors, limits on the number of people in the market at one time, or pre-pay and pre-ordering systems. Despite these changes, the markets are still a great way to find local and fresh food, as well as celebrate the growing season!
“Now is a perfect time to discover your local farmers market,” said Maple Grove Farmers Market Manager Kirsten Bansen Weigle. “During this time, many of us are looking for foods grown locally with minimal handling. That’s what you’ll find at your local market! Please connect with favorite markets online to learn about their COVID-19 response plans and how to be a safe market shopper.”
Eager customers can expect a bounty of early spring crops at the market: from rhubarb to leafy greens, spring onion, and asparagus, there is fresh produce to enjoy at the market already. Many vendors are also selling local products from Minnesota farms like maple syrup, baked goods, meat, eggs and cheese.
It’s easy to find a nearby farmers’ market by searching the Minnesota Grown Directory, which has 192 farmers’ markets and more than 1,000 total farm and market listings. Directory users can search by product, city, zip code, or look along a route to discover local foods and products for sale near them.