BEST FARMERS' MARKET Minneapolis 2010 - St. Paul Farmers' Market
It's true that here in Minnesota we have a fairly short season for local produce. And judging by the seasonal operations of most of our farmers' markets, that short growing period is all they focus on. But farms don't shut down entirely over the winter—the animals are still laying eggs, producing milk, and growing to a size that makes them suitable for slaughter. The St. Paul Farmers' Market recognizes this by staying open weekly almost all year round. Hardy local farmers drive their trucks into the city and stand outside for four hours every Saturday, even in the coldest weather, to provide us city folk with high-quality bacon, bison steaks, legs of lamb, eggs, and more. Other vendors are indoors, across the street at Golden's Deli, where you can also buy milk that comes from the grass-fed cows at Cedar Summit Farm. Winter access isn't the only reason to make this your farmers' market of choice, though. Its location in Lowertown (open Saturdays and Sundays from late April through most of November) offers ample charm, and amenities like coffee shops and a park are just steps away. The market has plenty of free parking, both on the street and in several lots (though this summer will present some traveling challenges owing to light rail construction). The market operates satellite locations on other days of the week all over St. Paul and a few suburbs. In the more abundant seasons the market is truly beautiful, filled with bright flowers, colorful vegetables, and smiling faces. And you can be sure that everything you buy from the St. Paul Farmers' Market was grown locally.