The weather is warm and the crops are finally coming in. Rhubarb and seedlings are the order of the day, but it won't be long before we'll see sugar snap peas and berries at the vendors' stands.
The Hot Dish is setting out to explore area farmers markets and their unique offerings. First stop: Kingfield Farmers Market, a kid-friendly market where both Foxy Falafel and Bogart's Doughnuts got their start.
Where it is: 4310 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis
Day of the week/hours: Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October 26
Vendors of note: Braucher's Sunshine Harvest Farm, Bogart Loves (now a brick-and-mortar biz too), Kiss My Cabbage, the Beez Kneez, Gardens of Eagan, Foxy Falafel, Sun Street Breads
Market features: With bake-offs, cooking demos, live music, and fun activities for the kids, you might forget you came for the killer produce (from the likes of Gardens of Eagan and Tiny Planet Produce) until the glistening greens call out to you.
The smallish parking lot that the market calls home also hosts cheesemakers (LoveTree Farmstead), a coffee purveyor (Café Palmira), pickled and canned items, and a smattering of crafty sellers who bring handmade clothing, soaps, pickled goods, candles, and other goods to the market.
Market vibe: Kingfield is chock full of hip green folks who want to eat healthy, sustainably raised local foods, but aren't afraid to save room for tasty artisanal treats like nut rolls from Groveland Confections or vanilla bean cream-filled donuts from Bogart Loves. Kids abound at this market, but these are savvy types who know about gluten-free treats (sift) and how to prepare garlic scapes.
Last thought: It's not a big market, but it deserves a visit even if you don't live in the neighborhood. Born in 2001 at the hands of some ardent volunteers, Kingfield has good vendors, veggies, and comestibles, but even more, it's a place where you can easily while a way an hour or two, with or without children.