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BEST FARMERS' MARKET Minneapolis 2004 - the Midtown Farmer's Market

Until recently we were much more in favor of farmers' markets in the abstract than the concrete. Sure, every year, as soon as the weather warmed up, we'd get all excited about the simple luxuries that might grace our table once the peak-sweet vegetables started to roll into town. But our enthusiasm would wane once we actually tried to do our marketing at the outdoor markets in either downtown. That's when we grappled with the parking, the crowds, and the sheer number of stands operated by soap makers, purveyors of incense, and other businesses that don't, so far as we know, actually farm anything. Where's an ADD-impaired heirloom tomato-lover to turn? The Midtown Public Market, located in Minneapolis at the intersections of Lake Street and 22nd Avenue South, across the street from the Midtown YWCA. There are miles of free parking and plenty of space between the booths for kids, dogs, carts, strollers, and shoppers who can't make up their minds. If the selection isn't yet as good as it is at downtown St. Paul's foodie paradise, it's better, in our opinion, than in downtown Minneapolis. In addition to produce, vendors offer garbage-free meats, poultry, cheese, specialty foods, cooking demonstrations, and, oddly, light-rail propaganda. This year the market begins July 10 and will operate Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Tuesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. through October 30.

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