Summer tastes at local farmers markets

Wadena Farmer's Market Vendors.JPG
The fresh produce and food product options are growing at local farmer's markets, including the Wadena Farmer's Market which has lettuce, kale, kohlrabi, eggs, maple syrup, birch syrup, buckwheat and cream honey, beeswax, jams and jellies currently. Rebecca Mitchell/Pioneer Journal

The locally-grown products and treats you’ve been waiting for are bringing the delight of summer at area farmers markets.

The markets also follow the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Agriculture safe shopping market recommendations, such as providing hand washing stations and masks and marking spaces for people to remain 6 feet apart while in line, according to a Wadena Farmers Market news release.

“It's important to increase the food access points for our community members, we certainly recognize that health happens outside of our clinic walls and ensuring that our community members have access to healthy foods is important to keeping our population well,” said Alicia Bauman, Lakewood Health System director of community health.

Find your local produce offerings below.

Wadena-Deer Creek Greenhouse Produce Stand

•When: Tuesdays through August 25 from 9 a.m. to noon •Where: East side of the high school between the greenhouses •Host favorite: Carrots


With produce options on rotation about every two to three weeks, WDC greenhouse coordinator Caroline Venis has seen an “amazing” response since opening on May 26. “Everything goes,” Venis said, and by 10 a.m. the pickings are slim.

The current produce offerings are cherry and slicing tomatoes, snap peas, spinach, spring mix lettuce, slicing cucumbers, kohlrabi and occasionally carrots and chives, basil, mint, cilantro, and sage. Besides the special treat of strawberries, the customers’ favorites are cucumbers and snap peas, according to Venis.

“The kids love the snap peas so those are fun to see them being eaten as … mom picks up the package the kids grab it and start eating them immediately,” Venis said.

In the coming weeks, look for green beans, zucchini, cabbage, pickling cucumbers and garlic. Check the Wadena-Deer Creek Public Schools Facebook page for weekly produce options.

Tuesday Wadena Farmers Market

•When: Tuesdays starting mid-July through October from 7 a.m. to noon •Where: Burlington Northern Park

The fresh-picked items continue as vendors “try to keep everything as fresh as possible,” according to market manager Rick Schwartz. The Tuesday market has two to three vendors with space open for more as well as a hope to open on time or earlier if the hot weather remains. When the market opens in mid-July, the offerings will be onions, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, radishes and potatoes.

“It’s just fun to get back to the Farmers Market,” Schwartz said. “Always fun to meet all the people.”

Though the market has previously been on Thursdays, Schwartz switched to Tuesdays to increase the time between the two Wadena markets. With people “anxious” to get fresh vegetables, as Schwartz said, some of the favorites are slicing cucumbers, onions and tomatoes.


In the coming months, look for tomatoes, squash, kohlrabi and cabbage.

Friday Wadena Farmers Market

•When: Fridays through Oct. 16 from 2-5:30 p.m. •Where: Wesley Lawn across from Tri-County Health Care •Host favorite try: Birch syrup

The start of the Wadena Farmers Market on June 12 has brought early produce including lettuce, kale and kohlrabi. The produce has also sprouted the usual and increased interest from attendees, according to market manager Britney Bursch. Additional market offerings are eggs, maple syrup, birch syrup, kettle corn, bakery items, buckwheat and cream honey, beeswax, jams and jellies.

“People browse the market when they come, some go straight for the smell of the kettle corn and eat as they shop,” Bursch said in an email.

In the coming weeks, look for frozen meats, zucchini, cucumber, sweet onion, beets, tomatoes, pickles, strawberries, ground cherries, garlic, squash, carrots, melon, rhubarb, beans, radishes, swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, peppers, celery, spinach, cabbage, sweet corn, pumpkins, watermelon, raspberries and flowers. Check the Wadena Farmers Market Facebook page for additional information.

New York Mills Farmers Market

•When: Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through mid-October and Wednesdays starting mid-July from 3 - 6 p.m. •Where: Central Park on Centennial Drive •Host previous try: Green and purple pear tomatoes

The support for the market is returning afresh this season with over 10 years of offerings to the community, including unique jams and jellies like the strawberry daiquiri jam available on June 27, according to market manager Pat Fredley. Fredley said vendors enjoy experimenting with different flavors, and customers relish the unique choices of carrot cardamom jam, summer squash pickles, zucchini relish and Christmas pickles.

The current offerings are strawberries, lettuce, herbs, summer squash, zucchini, radishes, kohlrabi, heirloom tomatoes, canned pickles, jams, jellies, artisan and Finnish breads, scones and various quick breads.


At the market, you can find new produce each week along with long-standing favorites like the melons.

“Customers come for our melons. Our melon vendor has been raising varieties of melons in the area for over 36 years,” Fredley said in an email.

In the coming weeks, look for new varieties of products. Check the New York Mills Civic & Commerce Facebook page for updates on the market.

Staples Area Farmers Market

•When: Thursdays through mid-October from 2-5:30 p.m. •Where: NAPA Auto parking lot, 107 NE 5th St., Staples •Host new try: White turnips

This year, the market headed for the NAPA Auto parking lot instead of Lakewood Health System’s main campus due to COVID-19 pandemic preparations, patient care and road construction, according to Bauman. The local favorites including Bert’s Bees honey and a range of products are still growing throughout the summer.

The current products at the market are meat, baked goods, canned and jarred products, carrots, kohlrabi, varieties of lettuce, grains, white turnips, plants and herbs. The produce has changed weekly since opening on May 28.

“It’s almost like Christmas every time you go out there,” Bauman said.

In the coming weeks, look for berries. Check the Lakewood Health System Facebook page for additional products and market updates.

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