by Joni Astrup
Area farmers markets are in full swing.
“This is definitely the height of the season in terms of variety and quantity,” said Minnesota Grown spokesman Paul Hugunin, of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
Sweet corn, tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupes, onions, carrots and peppers are available at many farmers markets, he said. Even some early varieties of apples are coming in.
Statewide, farmers markets are growing in popularity, he said.
This year the Minnesota Grown website lists 167 farmers markets in Minnesota, from Ada to Zimmerman. That’s up from 81 in 2008, Hugunin said.
“It’s a demand for local foods is really what it is,” he said. Consumers want access to farmers and locally grown produce, and farmers markets provide that.
The markets also serve as a community event in many cases, he said, drawing people to locations like a downtown.
There are several farmers markets in the Elk River area. Here’s an update on where they are and how late in the season they will be open.
Elk River Farmers Market
•When: 2-6 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 3
•Where: Downtown Elk River in the parking lots at 716 and 720 Main St.
•For more information: www.ElkRiverMN.gov/parksandrec
Nowthen Farmers Market
•When: 3-7 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 19. The last farmers market of the season will be Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Nowthen Heritage Festival.
•Where: One block north of County Road 22 on Nowthen Boulevard, behind the park
•For more information: www.nowthenmn.govoffice2.com
Rogers Farmers Market
•When: 3:30-7 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 9
•Where: Rogers Activity Center, 21080 141st Ave. N.
•For more information: www.farmersmarket.cityofrogers.org
Zimmerman Farmers Market
When: 3-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Oct. 1
•Where: Zimmerman Lions Park, 25850 Main St.
•For more information: www.pzfarmersmarket.org
See a complete list of farmers markets in Minnesota at www.minnesotagrown.com.