National Farmers Market Week celebrates value of local growers, producers

Customers browse the Mankato Farmers Market Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Mankato, Minn.
Customers browse the Mankato Farmers Market Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Mankato, Minn.(KEYC Photo/Lauren Andrego)
Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 10:22 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — In southern Minnesota, it’s easier than ever to get your hands on fresh fruit and vegetables.

One of many in the area, the Mankato Farmers Market pops up in the Best Buy parking lot three times a week.

“A lot of the things you’re buying in the grocery store are coming to you like a week or more after they were picked or harvested, so they’ve already lost some of their nutrition, some of their quality,” explained Lara Zimmerli of Cedar Crate Farm.

It gives residents a chance to buy straight from growers and producers.

Like Cedar Crate Farm out of Waldorf, which primarily sells produce by the crate to customers through subscriptions.

“You’re going to get fresher, higher quality produce. So that’s kind of our primary mission, to feed you and feed you well,” Zimmerli added.

The pop-up market attracts customers of all ages and keeps them coming back.

“I like to cook a lot,” Waleed Sulehri, president of the International Student Association of Minnesota State University, Mankato. “That’s why you’re finding me here and maybe other international students. A famous dish is biriyani, it’s a Pakistani dish. I like to always sprinkle some organic cilantro on there. It makes me remember Pakistan, where I belong from.”

And if you stick around long enough, you can find every ingredient you need to make dinner.

“We have ground hamburger, sirloins, New York strip, ribeyes, filet mignon,” stated Jenny Enz of Triple E Farms.

Triple E Farms is a four-generation dairy farm out of St. Peter. They just joined the list of Mankato Farmers Market vendors in May.

“A lot of customers, they want to know where their meat is coming from,” Enz continued. “They want to know that it’s well taken care of.”

The Mankato Farmers Market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through October.

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