Top 10 farmers markets in the Twin Cities

Categories: Top 10

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Photo by Mike Kooiman
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One of the thrills of living in Minnesota in the summertime, apart from the fact that the chance of snow is quite slight, is the delight of freshly picked peas, beans, tomatoes, corn and other vegetables and fruit. Be it from your own garden, the back of a farmer's pickup truck, or at one of the dozens of fresh farmers' markets around the Twin Cities, there are few delights quite like it. Finding farmers' markets isn't that tough, but here is a handy guide to some of the best in the region.

10. Hopkins Farmers Market

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Image courtesy Hopkins Farmers Market
Hopkins honors its agricultural roots every Saturday from mid-June through October with its market. The key for the western-suburban community is to gather vendors who have a direct connection to the wares they are selling, from in-season produce to various crafts. The food items run the gamut, from fresh vegetables and fruits to eggs and meat. Crafts are here to buy or browse, and the market is located on Hopkins's main drag, so there's more chances to explore, such as visiting the galleries at the nearby Hopkins Center for the Arts. (16 Ninth Ave S, Hopkins; 952.583.3585)

9. Northeast Farmers Market

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City Pages photo illustration
Northeast Minneapolis is a happening part of the Twin Cities, and the farmers' market is no different. Every Saturday from June through October you will find a bevy of vendors at Seventh and University ready to offer fresh goods and the other delectables, from artisan ice cream to fresh caramel corn. Oh, and there are other distractions as well. The Nordeast Brewers Alliance is always on hand for demonstrations, while regular entertainment and special events are part of the experience as well. It doesn't end in October either. The market moves indoors during the off-season for monthly gatherings at the East Side Co-op. (Seventh and University Ave NE)

8. Centennial Lakes Farmers Market

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Image courtesy Centennial Lakes Farmers Market
A trip to this Edina-based farmers' market has more to offer than goods from several dozen vendors. The park itself is part of the charm, as you can escape into its 24-acre landscape, visit the lake, travel the paths, and generally get a taste of nature before returning to the rat race. This younger (it started in 2010) market is still growing but features a mix of fresh-produce vendors from around the area and an assortment of ready-to-eat edibles, from pizza to pork chops to hot dogs. All perfect for a day in the sun in the Twin Cities. (Centennial Lakes Park, Edina; 952.833.9582)

7. Maple Grove Farmers Market

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City pages photo illustration
Every Thursday from June to October, the parking lot at the Maple Grove Community Center becomes a veritable paradise for those in the north metro looking for crisp vegetables, sweet and juicy fruits, and unique culinary finds. The market brings in more than 50 vendors each week, offering plenty of inspiration for your upcoming meals. If you need more, there are chef demonstrations and recipes to provide ideas and tips for in-season products. There's even a frequent-visitor's card, which gives those who make at least five visits during the season a small gift certificate to use on a later visit. If you need more, music is provided most weeks, and there's a children's story time every Thursday at 4:30. (12951 Weaver Lake Road, Maple Grove; 763.494.5955)

6. Richfield Farmers Market

Image courtesy Richfield Farmers Market
Visitors and residents of the south metro have used the Richfield Farmers Market as an alternative to the Minneapolis and St. Paul editions since 1990, and it has grown to become a large alternative to its big-city sisters. The Saturday market, which runs through October, is joined by a Wednesday market at the Church of Assumption parking lot through August. The growers market features fresh-picked produce from no more than 200 miles from Richfield, and at least 80 percent are from farms in Minnesota. There is also an assortment of products for sale, such as fresh breads, honey, and gifts. Other entertainment, like live music, is also a part of the activities. (6400 Portland Ave., Richfield; 612.861.9362)

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