Category: What’s in Season?

Pie pumpkin

Pumpkins, apples and more: October at the market.

If you love fall, the farmers market is the place for you. Our vendors offer an abundance of colorful and unique pumpkins, apples, and so much more.

You’ll find all of the colors and flavors that make the season special. Breathe in the crisp air and feel the warm sun on your face as you shop outside on October 7, 14, and 21 from 3-6 p.m. at the Maple Grove Community Center. Here’s what you need to know:

Hours of Operation

The market will be open from 3-6 p.m. to account for the earlier sunset.

Seasonal Products

Find a gorgeous selection of unique pumpkins, gourds, and winter squash for decorating AND (of course!) for eating. The market also features apples a’plenty. A little research and taste-testing will help you discover your favorite local apple varieties: Pick Your Perfect Minnesota Grown Apple.

Full line of produce

Because of unseasonably warm temperatures throughout the summer and fall of 2021, our vendor stalls are still bursting with produce. You can expect a great selection of vegetables right up until the first frost.

Indoor Markets begin Tuesday November 23

Our final outdoor market will be Thursday October 21, 2021. We’ll be open next INSIDE the Community Center on TUESDAY, November 23. That’s a long time! Be sure to stock your pantry for good eats in early November.

Trick-or-Treat Market

On October 21, kids are invited to come to market in costume to trick-or-treat at vendor stalls. This is also a great opportunity to join/check in to the Power of Produce Club, and of course to choose the perfect Halloween pumpkin.

Vendor attendance

Vendor availability can be more limited this time of year, as family obligations and employee shortages seem to peak in the fall. Be sure to subscribe to market e-mails or follow on Facebook for each week’s vendor roster.

Read More
Sort stems by flower type

Extend the life of your farmers market bouquet

You’ve made it to the market. You’ve browsed all of the colors and textures and scents of those gorgeous farmers market bouquets. You’re strolling out with an armful of beautiful seasonal blooms. Now what?

Take these simple steps to extend the vase life of your bouquet. Read on for detailed information!

Hurry home with your blossoms! Don’t leave them in a hot car. Place the stems in lukewarm water until you are ready to arrange them in a vase.

When you are ready, choose a sparkling clean vase and fill 3/4 full with lukewarm water. Bacteria will shorten the life of your blooms, so be sure to scrub out residue and debris from previous bouquets.

Remove flowers from plastic or paper sleeve and carefully remove rubber band.

Using a sharp clipper, trim at least one inch from each stem. If using a smaller/shorter vase, you can clip off more than one inch.

Important! Remove all leaves and foliage that will be in the water in your vase. Leaves decay underwater, hastening bacterial growth and shortening the life of your blooms.

Most bouquets will include foliage, filler flowers, base flowers, and focal flowers. After trimming stems and leaves, slide the whole bouquet into your vase. Or…it’s fun to sort the stems and create your own arrangement. Play with your flowers!

Begin with foliage (pictured: lemon basil) and filler flowers (pictured: gomphrena). These will serve as the base “architecture” of your bouquet.

Add the larger “base” flowers, which will create the feeling of the bouquet (pictured: red “madame butterfly snapdragons, white zinnias). Rotate the vase as you add stems.

Add focal flowers (the big showy guys.) Pictured here: dahlias.

The same blossoms can look very different, depending upon which vase you choose. This little cutie requires shorter stems, so make deeper cuts. (Be sure to remove foliage in water!)

With even shorter stems, this same bouquet makes an elegant centerpiece in a pedestal bowl. (Pro tip: a strip of chicken wire folded into an “egg” shape holds the stems in this bowl.)

Monitor the water level in your vase and add fresh water daily. Remove spent blossoms along with their stems as needed. Enjoy your farmers market bouquet!

Read More

The eatin’ o’ the greens

What a relief to welcome back springtime rituals like St. Patty’s Day! Spring brings cravings for bright, fresh flavors and lighter dishes. Microgreens can boost your nutrition and mood as you create healthy meals for a new season.

Microgreens are different than the alfalfa sprouts you may remember from sandwiches and salad bars. Microgreens are very young plants, generally harvested after 10-14 days of growth. They’re a little more grown-up than a sprouted seed. As such, micros have more texture and flavor–and microgreens are simply packed with nutrition. One study by the University of Maryland and the USDA found that microgreens are four to 40 times more nutritious than the mature form of the same vegetable.

Microgreens by Great Northern Microgreens. Pictured front to back: Chinese cabbage, broccoli, red cabbage and kale

We are thrilled to feature microgreens at every market. On Sunday March 21, you’ll find Farming Gardens and Great Northern Microgreens at market. Each of these local growers offers a colorful variety of micros and they’re generous with information and advice about how to use them.

For immediate use, purchase cut, ready-to-eat microgreens. Living trays of microgreens are available to harvest at home–fun for adults and kids alike! Or, purchase a grow-your-own kit so you can experience the whole process, from planting to harvest.

When outdoor markets begin on May 13, you’ll also find a great selection of microgreens at Morning Sun Farms. Janet and Everett include microgreens in their CSA shares, as well.

Try microgreens for breakfast or brunch as in this Avacado Bagel with Microgreens by Yummly.

Blend up a smoothie for a post-workout treat, like this Tropical Broccoli Breeze smoothie recipe from Great Northern Microgreens

Incorporate microgreens into a plant-based lunch or dinner, as in this gorgeous Best Buddha Bowl recipe by Love and Lemons.

Out with that last season of cold and dark…in with a new season of bright flavors and healthy new dishes. Be sure to comment on our Facebook and Instagram pages with your favorite uses for microgreens.

We’ll see you at market on Sunday, March 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Find us in our bright, airy new location, the Maple Grove Parks & Recreation Studio at the Shoppes, at 12059 Elm Creek Blvd N, D-6. That’s on the east end of the Shoppes near P. F. Chang and Biaggi’s.

Here’s to your good health in a bright new season.

Read More

Merry and Bright

Can “local” also be “festive”?

In a word, YES!

At the market you’ll find many presents and stocking stuffers; the “ingredients” for customized gift boxes for neighbors, friends and colleagues; and the ingredients to create your own holiday recipes…all in one place! What better way to bring the cheer in this dark year than with delicious new flavors, handcrafted with love?

Here’s a quick rundown of some new, seasonal items you’ll find at the market on December 10 and December 17 from 3-6 p.m. Remember, we’re temporarily located in the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, 12059 Elm Creek Blvd N, D-6 (formerly Forever 21). This large, open space enables us to host safe and socially distanced markets. If you prefer to minimize your time in public, please make use of our vendors’ pre-order offers. This will enable you to shop from home for quick-and-easy pickup on market day.

Indulge in fine French chocolates from Crepe and Cake. Florence is getting tres creative with chocolate Christmas trees, hot cocoa bombs, and much more.

The Honey Hut has prepared lovely gift boxes featuring a variety of raw honey products.

Cran-Orange and Home for the Holidays kombucha from Shekinah Wellness make festive and healthy non-alcoholic beverages for enjoying every day. They’ll add some sparkle to your spirit and some good health to your gut.

Do not miss rich pan de pascua, or Christmas bread, full of candied fruit and nuts, from Atacama Catering! I was thrilled to discover this bread a couple of years ago as it is very similar to the Scandinavian Christmas bread that is traditional in my own family.

Every single person on your list will benefit from beautiful, skin-friendly soaps from Rapha farms. Lathering up with peppermint soap will bring a little happiness to this very “2020” activity.

This is just a small sample of the delights you’ll find in the market. Please take a moment to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for gift ideas for every eater in your life.

As you plan your shopping trip, we hope you’ll also review our COVID-19 guidelines and procedures. Don’t forget your mask!

Wishing you peace of mind and ease of shopping this December!


Kirsten Bansen Weigle, market manager

Read More

August at the Farmers Market: What’s in Season?

August 2020

These pandemic days are the slowest fast-moving days–or maybe the fastest slow-moving weeks–I have ever experienced. Do you feel the same? There is time to savor moments and flavors and even the long-forgotten sensation of boredom. But it’s already August? What???

Growing conditions have been ideal for warm-season crops this year. Air temperatures have been above average, both in the daytime and nighttime. As a result we’re moving into high season for market produce even earlier than usual.

The key to a continual succession of vegetables is timed plantings of the same crop at intervals throughout the spring and summer. For example, the earliest, fastest-maturing corn varieties have already been harvested. Our growers are now harvesting a second planting of sweet corn for your table. They are experts–we all benefit from their hard work.

August is a great time to preserve the harvest, whether on a small scale (perhaps a few jars of blueberry jam) or to fill a winter pantry (tomatoes, cucumbers, and more are available in bulk quantities. Market vendors are happy to reserve large orders for you to pick up on market day.) It’s a great idea to assemble your supplies BEFORE you purchase the produce you intend to freeze, can, dehydrate or jam. Food preservation supplies like freezer bags, jar lids, and pectin can be a little hard to find.

Want to preserve the good feeling of the market along with the good flavors? After the canning or freezing is done, when you’re writing on your jar lid or label, include the vendor’s name. For example: “Cherry tomato sauce, Yang family, 8-1-2020.” Doing so helps me pause to mentally thank the folks who grew and harvested my food, even in the cold of January. Everything tastes better when seasoned with gratitude.

Here is a list of the produce you can expect to find in the market as the month progresses. We can’t possibly list everything. New varieties will appear every single week in August, so be sure to keep an eye out for that hotter pepper or new variety of muskmelon. Savor. Enjoy.

  • apples arrive mid- to late August. Early varieties include State Fair, Beacon, First Kiss, SweeTango, and crabapples.
  • basil
  • beans (green, yellow, purple,speckled, more!)
  • beets (golden and red)
  • bitter melon
  • blueberries
  • broccoli
  • cabbage (regular, napa)
  • cantaloupe and muskmelons
  • carrots (orange, red, white, purple)
  • cauliflower (white, purple, yellow)
  • chard
  • cherry tomatoes–many varieties
  • cilantro
  • cucumbers (pickling slicing, and specialty)
  • dill
  • eggplant (MANY varieties)
  • garlic
  • greens
  • ground cherries
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • microgreens
  • mint
  • mushrooms
  • Potatoes–red, yellow, white, purple; fingerling; russet potatoes by late August
  • onions (green onions, as well as yellow, white and red)
  • pattypan and other summer squash varieties
  • peppers (new varieties added every week in August)
  • radishes
  • raspberries
  • sweet corn
  • tomatoes (slicing, sauce, heirloom varieties)
  • watermelon (yellow, red, orange, many sizes–seeded and seedless)
  • zucchini

Read More