Local farmers markets bountifulDuluth has three different farmers markets offering fresh vegetables and fruits. All based in different neighborhoods around the city, these markets provide residents a local selection of seasonal goods until late September, with one going until October.
Duluth has three different farmers markets offering fresh vegetables and fruits. All based in different neighborhoods around the city, these markets provide residents a local selection of seasonal goods until late September, with one going until October.
The long, low, barn-like red building on 14th Avenue East and Third Street stands out from all the other buildings in that area. The Duluth Farmer’s Market has been housed in that location since 1953, although it originally started in 1911.
“The market is a festive, friendly place,” said Doug Hoffbauer, a local farmer and member of the Duluth Farmer’s Market. “This makes a shopping experience a social event: grab a cup of coffee, meet and talk with friends and relax; not the sterile experience of shopping in a big-box store. You have the advantage of knowing everything about your food: how, where and when it was grown.”
Tom Mackay has been going to the Duluth Farmer’s Market for 12 years. The Budgeteer caught up with him last Wednesday while he was purchasing a chicken from Doug Hoffbauer.
“The vegetables [Hoffbauer has] are beautiful. The chickens are the best that I have ever tasted in my life.”
The doors open every Wednesday and Saturday morning at 7 a.m., usually starting the Saturday before Mother’s Day in May and going until the last Saturday in October. Christmas trees are sold every day starting around Thanksgiving. People can find local trees, wreaths, and decorations at the Duluth Farmer’s Market in the winter season.
“People should buy food from farmers markets to support local economy, keep jobs and dollars local,” said Hoffbauer. “They can also find those unique items like heirloom tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, and ethnic peppers.”
“I try to come every few weeks; I support local growers. I also like the quality and atmosphere.
I want my son Eli to know about where the food comes from and to interact with the growers which is something you can’t do at Super One,” Kyle Maunu told the Budgeteer as he stood at the Spirit Lake Native Products booth.
The Duluth Farmer’s Market accepts the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program card.
The University of Minnesota Duluth campus hosts another weekly summer farmers market. This year it will be going through September 26.
“This has been going on for at least 10 years,” Gina Temple-Rhodes said. She is a Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association worker who is in charge of managing the market this year. “Deb Shubat, a staff member at UMD, grew vegetables and fruit herself. Faculty members were always asking her to bring them to campus, so she thought to just start a market. It also fit with the wellness efforts of the
The UMD market is open on Wednesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“Neighbors, faculty, summer students and residents all come. It is a very diverse group,” Temple-Rhodes said. “It is a very good place for people to start out selling their goods. We have different sellers every week because they do not have to commit for a whole season, like some of the other local markets.”
Like the Duluth Farmer’s Market, the UMD market also accepts the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit card.
“We don’t take vouchers, but we do take the cards. We have to run it through the phones and sometimes it takes a while, but it works. We see a lot of people using them more these days,” Temple-Rhodes said.
The downtown farmers market, started by the Greater Downtown Council, is housed on the Lake Superior Plaza on the corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street. It runs every Tuesday from
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. through September 25.
“Minnesota Power had a market but they never could sustain the number of vendors,” Darlene Marshall, the Greater Downtown Council event coordinator, said. “We now have a lot of recurring vendors so shoppers know what they are getting. We also added the option for lunch, either to take with or sit down and eat, and music.”
At this market people can find local growers, artists, entertainers and downtown restaurants offering lunch. Last summer was the first year that the council was involved with the farmers market.
“The goal is to provide fresh produce to the downtown workers and residents, as well as helping out local farmers. Everything has to be grown within 50 miles of Duluth; a lot of it is freshly picked that day,” Marshall said.
“Food should be local, and we have lost this. Farmers markets allow us to return to this,” Hoffbauer said.