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New farmers market in the works for East Isles, a first for Minneapolis' public parks

This is a photo from the Kingfield Farmers Market, which already exists. But East Isles' might look a lot like it!

This is a photo from the Kingfield Farmers Market, which already exists. But East Isles' might look a lot like it! Isaac Hale, Star Tribune

Grab your totes and dust off those Tevas: Farmers market season is almost upon us, and this year, you might have a new one to check out in the East Isles neighborhood.

The Southwest Journal has reported that The East Isles Residents Association is wrapping up plans for an outdoor market that would bring roughly 40 fresh, locally focused food vendors to the green space on the block between Hennepin and Humbolt on weekday evenings. It’s a pretty densely packed part of town, which would likely make it a huge hit with neighbors.

There’s just one catch: The EIRA is working with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and the board has never before allowed anyone to host a recurring farmers market on park property.

Which, a little hard to believe, no? Aren’t parks kind of ready-made market hosts? Here’s what the Journal had to say about that:

Permits Manager Shane Stenzel said the Park Board has always said no to farmers markets in the past, but this concept is appealing because it’s coming from a neighborhood group. He said The Mall is also an appealing location because of its access to transit. Cross streets would remain open, he said.

“It is pretty exciting,” he said. “Who knows, down the road we may add opportunities for farmers markets in other parts of the city.”

Anyway, it’s a pilot project, but the hope is to have it up and running this summer, maybe as soon as mid-June. The EIRA still has to hire a market manager, and they’re looking for co-sponsors to help pay for things like licensing fees and promotion.

Interested in being one of said sponsors or holding the coveted title of market manager? Or in selling your wares? Shoot an email to [email protected]