What's new at the St. Paul Farmers Market this year

It's plantin' time!

It's plantin' time! Courtney Perry/Star Tribune

The springtime harbinger that is Sea Salt's return has already come and gone—April snowstorm be damned—so now we must look to other demarcations of the changing seasons.

Here's one: The Saint Paul Farmers Market just announced its 2019 opening date.

The weekly fruit/veggie/meat/dairy extravaganza will return to its Lowertown location April 27 and will be open weekends through the end of November, per a Monday afternoon release. There's free coffee that Saturday for early birds who start filling their totes between 7 and 8 a.m.

Other neighborhood markets—Roseville, Rosemount, Andover, Maplewood, and Lakeville, to name just a handful—will announce opening dates soon, though they won't start up until May or June.

One cool thing that's new this year: Tim McKee, the chef-restaurateur behind nearby Market House Collaborative and Octo Fishbar, is overseeing a new program of “chef pairings.” These monthly pop-up kitchens will have two chefs who don’t normally work together teaming up and prepping meals using ingredients from market vendors. They’ll also sell those dishes at the market.

It sounds fun! And potentially helpful! Especially for those of us non-market-experts who are prone to panicking and buying, like, four weeks worth of ramps, then being like, "What do you even do with one ramp?"

You can find a full list of St. Paul markets, locations, and schedules here.

St. Paul Farmers Market Opening Day
April 27 - November 24
7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday