Mill City Farmers Market celebrates fifth anniversary

It all started back in June 2006, when Brenda Langton (chef-owner of Spoonriver restaurant) founded the Mill City Farmers Market on the banks of the Mississippi River, between the Mill City Museum and the new Guthrie Theater. While it is much smaller than the Minneapolis Farmers Market on Lyndale Avenue, the Mill City Market manages to offer live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, art and clothing vendors, a petting zoo, and plenty of prepared food vendors in addition to the fresh, local produce at the many farmer booths in its intimate, urban setting. This Saturday, September 18, marks its fifth anniversary celebration. Here's what you can expect.

At 10 a.m., Spoonriver chef Heather Hartman will do a cooking demonstration using produce available from vendors at the market. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nichola Miller will sing her sultry jazz songs, accompanied by pianist Rick Carlson. For the duration of the market (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) market-goers can visit the Birthday Booth and become a Friend of the Market, enter a raffle to win gifts, participate in a scavenger hunt, and enjoy some birthday cake. Edible Twin Cities will also be on hand, selling copies of their cookbook, a "gorgeously illustrated celebration of the local food movement." Check out the Mill City Farmers Market website's handy Produce Planner to see a list of the produce they expect to have available this weekend, and start plotting out the delicious meals you can create in advance.

On a warm summer or crisp autumn morning, nothing beats a serene bike ride along the Mississippi culminating in a satchel of cardamom mini doughnuts from the Chef Shack and a slow meander around the tables bursting with colorful local produce. This is the perfect weekend to enjoy just such a morning and wish the Mill City Farmers Market a hearty happy birthday.

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