My family has made a tradition out of going to the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market. Almost every Saturday morning we arrive at the market around 8:30 am. I immediately head to the local coffee stand for a delicious jolt of caffeine, and my boys head for the bakery stand to pick out a yummy muffin or giant cinnamon roll. We enjoy our leisurely breakfast together, while talking about what items we are on the hunt for at the market that day.
I use this trip to the Farmer’s Market every Saturday, as an educational opportunity. We talk about farmers, vegetables, plants, what it means to “buy local”, and all of that good stuff. Each week I give my boys the task of picking a new veggie to try – they’ve tried kohlrabi, radishes, cucumbers, zucchini, sugar snap peas, yellow beans, and many more.
Besides picking out a veggie of the week, we’ve also come up with a tradition of my boys visiting the fresh cut flower stands to pick out a bouquet of flowers for mommy. It is my favorite part of our trip. They peruse the market, visiting each flower stand, looking for that perfect bouquet of flowers just for me. It is pretty sweet.
In addition to all of the wonderful farmers and vendors, the Saturday morning Mankato Farmer’s market usually has a live musician or two, and also a kids tent, with free activities and crafts, glitter tattoos, and sometimes even a face painter, story teller, or puppeteer.
Farmer’s Markets just have this cool, relaxing, vibe. People seem friendlier. Happier. Everyone is smiling and chatting and having a good time. Farmer’s Markets are truly a community gathering space, where all are welcome.
Here are some tips for visiting the Farmer’s Market if you’ve never been:
- Bring cash. Some vendors accept credit cards, but some are cash only. EBT cards are also accepted.
- Bring a reusable bag for your goodies. Most vendors have plastic shopping bags, but reusable is preferred.
- Allow yourself enough time. The kids will have fun walking around, exploring, chatting with the farmers, and participating in the activities, so you don’t want to rush it and ruin the experience.
- If you have young children, bring a stroller or wagon.
- There is not a lot of shade, so sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are a must.
Learn more about the Mankato Farmer’s Market here: http://www.mankatofarmersmarket.com/
North Mankato now has a Farmer’s Market on Monday evenings! Check out their facebook page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/northmankatofarmersmarket/
Not from Mankato? No problem! There are tons of Farmer’s Markets all over the state. Find a directory to all of Minnesota’s Farmer’s Markets here: https://minnesotagrown.com/product/farmers-markets/
I hope to see you and your family making memories at the market soon!