For Diane Webb, nothing beats the taste of locally grown vegetables.
Her homegrown lettuce, she said, "tastes like green chewable silk."
"It doesn't even compare to what you buy in the grocery store," said Webb, president of the Wadena Area Growers Association, which held its first farmers market of the year last Friday from 2 to 5:30 p.m. along Highway 71 North in the old Pamida parking lot.
Growers from within a 25 miles radius will sell fresh produce at the the weekly market through October.
The market accepts debits cards and SNAP/EBT benefits.
"We're really trying to get the word out about that," Webb said.
There's more to the farmer market than veggies, she said. Local vendors will also sell baked goods, jams and maple syrup.
Webb said the association is looking for people interested in selling handmade crafts and fresh cut flowers.
"We've got enough customers now at the market, we need more diversified vendors," she said.
This year, with the help of a grant, the association will provide complimentary weekly trips to the market on Friendly Rider. A bus - open to passengers of all ages - will leave from the Humphrey Manor at 2 p.m. and the Wadena Senior Center at 2:15 p.m., then make the return trip an hour later.
"I think it will be wonderful for the senior citizens," Webb said. Not only will they get to go to the market, she said, but they'll have a weekly outing to look forward to.
For more information or to apply to become a vendor, contact Webb at (218) 640-3276. To be added to the market's newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other area farmers markets are set to launch:
• May 22 in Lakewood Health System's southeast parking lot east of Staples (Thursdays, 2 to 5:30 p.m.).
• May 27 at BN Park in Verndale (Tuesdays, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.).
• June 4 on Main Street next to the post office in Hewitt (Wednesdays, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.).
• In July - date to be determined - at BN Park in Wadena (Thursdays, 7 to 11 a.m.).