I’m sure you’ve heard of the Farmer’s Market, but have you REALLY taken the time to check it out? Nick and I have made a tradition of heading down to Lowertown in St. Paul a few times a month. It’s absolutely one of my all-time favorite things to do on a sunny Saturday morning! I must admit, I’m partial to St. Paul’s market for one key reason: Minneapolis allows middle-men to sell, which means that Supervalu or other wholesalers can unload extra produce. You’ll occasionally see a DOLE box or Chiquita sticker on your bananas, which somehow just doesn’t feel right to me! That being said, if you go into the Minneapolis market knowing that what you buy may not be local and you’re okay with that, then what you DO get is a wider variety of fruits and veggies at a convenient location (like Nicollet Mall on Thursdays, for example).
There are many reasons why I love St. Paul’s market more though. Here are a few:
1. Free parking!
2. Live music!
3. Great home-made Hummus!
4. Fresh meat, cheese and eggs in addition to produce.
5. Donuts and coffee!
6. No middle men -everything is locally produced.
7. Convenient Hours for the main market in Lowertown: 6 AM to 1 PM Saturdays, 8 AM to 1 PM Sundays.
8. 17 satellite markets throughout other areas of St. Paul during the week.
9. Open April through November!
10. There are talks about an indoor market for the winter months…
They only sell what’s in season, so selection is more limited than Minneapolis, but you get to talk directly to the grower and ask about their farming practices among other things. I hadn’t paid much attention in the past to where my food comes from, but this really makes it real for me. If that isn’t enough to convince you to go, then I don’t know if anything will get you there! Have fun taking in this MN tradition- it’s perfect for families of all ages too!