Not much tops a Saturday-morning stroll through one of the many farmers markets of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Sipping a good cup of coffee, surveying the bounty of the Minnesota farmers and producers: It's a perfect start to the weekend for the traditional Monday-through-Friday nine-to-fiver.
But what about the rest of us? What about the hardworking service industry folk? The night shift workers? And everyone else who just can’t fathom getting up early on a weekend morning to buy their vegetables?
There are ample alternatives throughout the city that host non-traditional farmers market hours — so many, in fact, that it might be hard to know where to start. We’ve done the work for you. Listed below are three lesser-known markets that will provide you with all of the vitamins and nutrients you need to get you through your non-traditional week.
Tuesdays 8 a.m.- 12 p.m. Early May through end of October
2131 Fairview Ave. N., Roseville (Church of Corpus Christi parking lot)
Not able to make the St. Paul Farmers Market last weekend? Don’t fret! The Roseville Market has your grocery list covered, with over 60 spaces to host vendors and everything you need to whip up healthy dinners all week long. According to St. Paul Farmers Market manager Jack Gerten, this market has been around for over 20 years and is host to around 1,600 shoppers every Tuesday morning. Having the market run from 8 a.m. to noon draws in a large customer base that relishes the wide range of in-season fruits and vegetables, plus cheese, bakery items, sauces, and fresh flowers.
Wednesdays 2 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. Early July through mid-October
1900 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis (Plymouth Congregational Church parking lot)
It may be small, but the Wednesday market at Stevens Square packs a punch. Going strong since 2008, the Stevens Square “mini market” provides everything you need in one convenient stop. Two local farms (Thao Xiong Garden of Hastings and Lee Vang Farmers Market of Rosemount) provide shoppers with an array of produce, while cutting out the confusion of duplicate vendors. This makes for a quick and easy stop on your way through town. Vendors are set up and open for business at 2 p.m. every Wednesday and stay until 6:30 p.m. to catch the after-work rush in search of that last fresh ingredient for dinner.
Park Nicollet Farmers Market
Thursdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. mid-June through mid-October
3850 Park Nicollet Blvd., St. Louis Park (Park Nicollet Clinic parking lot)
When you hear the words “Park Nicollet,” fruits and vegetables are probably not the first things that come to mind. Perhaps they should be: Every Thursday afternoon, this health care organization brings nature's best preventive medicine to the area just outside the 3850 parking ramp at the Park Nicollet Clinic in St. Louis Park. There, a variety of local vendors gather and spread the joy of healthy eating to Park Nicollet employees and the general public (in inclement weather, the market moves inside to the second floor clinic skyway). In addition to regular fresh produce items found at a traditional market, you will also find honey, handmade soaps, gourmet oils and vinegars, as well as a selection of gourmet nuts.
Stuck downtown during the day? You don't have to miss out on fresh, local Sixth St. know what's up. Every Wednesday through October 28, the tower hosts a farmers market for those who can't leave the hustle and bustle of their busy downtown workday. And others may be following suit. Keep a peeled eye and an open ear for other potential markets closer to, or even inside, your workplace.