Cozy farmers market arrives inside St. Paul's Union Depot for the winter

Freshly foraged mushrooms greet shoppers in Union Depot.

Freshly foraged mushrooms greet shoppers in Union Depot. Sarah Brumble

The end of Minnesota’s warmer months is brutal for any number of reasons. 

Just one of these involves bidding adieu to the sun on your face while roaming the rows of fresh produce, dairy, and sundry goods at St. Paul’s big, outdoor community farmers market that runs outside CHS Field each weekend from April through November.

But as the seasons shift, the smart folks behind the best farmers market in the Cities know that getting your sundries shouldn’t have to shift to impersonal grocery stores just because our weather turns so fickle and hostile ‘round about… now. So they’ve devised a plan to keep fans of the farmers’ from going into hibernation until next spring.

Throughout the winter months, the St. Paul Farmers' Market added a midweek option each Thursday (except Thanksgiving) inside the Head House at the Union Depot train station. Open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the idea is workers on their lunch breaks, residents of Lowertown, and visitors just arriving to the capitol city will find a bounty of convenient and beautiful produce that’s as fresh as it is local, just ready for their perusal.

Flowers fill the Head House at Union Depot for Thursday's Farmers' Market.

Flowers fill the Head House at Union Depot for Thursday's Farmers' Market. Saint Paul Farmers' Market

Yesterday, hot barbecue sandwiches from Chef Earl were flying alongside vendors selling raw honey, an array of freshly harvested apples (with samples!), jams, kombucha, sauces, bins of mushrooms, and more. Luckily it was only the first installment, with the rest of the season still ahead of the vendors.

To clear up any confusion on the matter, St. Paul Farmers' Market’s Pam McCarthy-Kern told City Pages that this Union Depot incarnation doesn’t mean the autumnal, tail end of the summer market down in Lowertown is over just yet, either. 

“The outdoor, downtown Saint Paul Farmers' Market in Lowertown will be open through November (Saturdays and Sundays) with some fun events and vendors, then in December it will move indoors to the Market House Collaborative space where it always has its indoor Winter Market,” she said, before teasing a few fun outdoor events still in store perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

That’s a whole lotta farmers’ market options yet to look forward to – both indoor and out – despite a mounting nip in the air. The upcoming months are beginning to feel cozier by the minute, if you ask us…