Fall is upon us! Are you scouring for produce to bake a gorgeous pumpkin or sweet potato pie? Look no further than your Twin Cities Farmers’ Market, of course.
Not only is there a variety of fresh ingredients for your Thanksgiving and fall festivities, but introducing your kids to the farmers’ market can add to their experience, too. Showing your kids where your fruits and veggies come from can be a crucial teaching moment — plus, farmers’ markets are just plain fun.
Psst… For other fall activities, you can also join the Twin Cities Kids Club here! They provide you with a free (yes, completely free!) membership for discounts and events in the Minneapolis and St. Pauls area. Our blog also happens to be a goldmine of advice on anything kid-related.
Benefits of Farmers’ Markets
Teach kids about how important small farmers and producers are to our communities.
You might be visiting farmers’ markets for the lower prices and fresh, high-quality fruits and veggies, but here are some other reasons why they benefit us all.
You’re supporting local farmers and producers.
Small businesses make up 99.7% of all businesses in the U.S, and many times struggle to stay open. By buying from local farmers, you’re helping a small business owner feed themselves and their family. You also make sure they can continue growing the best fruits and veggies and creating the best goods for families like yours.
You’re helping the environment.
Farmers’ markets make it easy for you to take your reusable bags to shop. That means less waste and less plastic in our oceans. Your food isn’t traveling thousands of miles to get to you, and that means less carbon released — success in our book!
You’re getting the freshest produce.
Since the produce for farmers’ markets travels so little, they don’t have to be picked so far ahead of time. Instead, fruits and veggies are picked when they’re ripe, according to the University of Nebraska Extension Center. That means fresher quality (and juicier fruit!).
You’re getting a wide variety of foods.
How many of us have tried purple cauliflower or bright rhubarb? At local markets, you’ll find a wide range of produce to choose from. Many that you don’t find at the grocery store at all. It might even seem a bit impossible to go through all your options!
You get to ask questions about your meat and dairy.
Instead of searching high and low for information about meat in your supermarket, you can ask the producer in front of you! If you’re concerned about living conditions or organic farming techniques, then having the farmer around makes it easy to get that info. Just like with produce, small farmers can often provide better, fresher meat and dairy.
You enjoy a beautiful community.
The sense of community at Twin Cities farmers’ markets is incredible. You get to talk directly to the people who are growing and providing your food. You share stories and exchange advice which is invaluable — the free samples don’t hurt either.
Great for Kids
Of course, that sense of community translates into a great family environment. Showing your children the unique and vibrant ingredients in each booth can be an exciting time for them. It’s a ripe opportunity to teach them how to pick great produce.
Who knows? They might pick out some rare ingredients for you to experiment with a totally new recipe. Getting them outside and away from the TV screen is also a win!
Often you’ll find new recipes through our farmers’ markets vendors or their Facebook pages. Our Mill City Farmers’ Market, for one, also hosts free cooking classes every Saturday at 10:30.
Shopping with your kids provides a great transition to the kitchen, too. Right when you get home or cook dinner, you can teach your kids how to wash and store fresh produce. Your kids will learn the basics of cooking and baking while you get help in the kitchen. What parent doesn’t want that?
Fall is a great time to teach kids how to prepare that sweet potato pie or family heirloom recipe, too. They can mix ingredients, mash vegetables, slice soft foods with plastic knives, or perform other simple tasks. No heavy tools required!
Locations and Hours
Thoroughly convinced? Here are some of the farmers’ markets in the Twin Cities areas!
The Minneapolis Farmers’ Market opens 7 days a week from 6 AM to 1 PM. Find them on 312 E Lyndale Ave N for every kind of produce, both local and imported!
Nicollet Mall Farmers’ Market is a branch of our Minneapolis market, located in downtown Minneapolis at 300 S. 6th Street (in South Plaza!). They’re open from 6 AM to 6 PM.
The St. Paul’s Farmers’ Market opens on the weekends. They’re open Saturday from 7 AM to 1 PM and Sunday from 8 AM to 1 PM. Catch them at 290 E Fifth St. for fresh seasonings and local produce.
Mill City Farmers’ Market opens on Saturday from 9 AM to 1 PM. Come by for a visit on 704 South 2nd Street!
If you’re in the suburbs, we haven’t forgotten about you! Visit the Burnsville Marketon Thursdays from 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM. They’re on 3333 Cliff Road, convenient for your mid-week shopping trip!
The Minnesota Grown Farmer’s Market is on Wabasha St N & W 7th Place. They’re open on Saturday from 7 AM to 1 PM and Sunday from 8 AM to 1 PM.
Don’t find a location here close to you? Check out our full list of locations here.
We’d be delighted for you to celebrate fall with us at one of our farmers’ markets! Bring the kids along and come shop for always fresh produce and goods (like scrumptious honey and bread).
Don’t forget to join Twin Cities Kids Club for more fall fun and a free membership you’ll use a dozen times over. To join, go to Twin Cities Kids Club and fill out the form to get your membership card!