Government Center South Plaza to host Nicollet Mall farmers market on Thursdays beginning May 4
As the weather warms up, more outdoor farmers markets are beginning to sprout across the city. The first market of the season – the Minneapolis Farmers Market on Lyndale Avenue North – is now open daily for the season. And with the ongoing reconstruction of Nicollet Mall, the Thursday Nicollet Mall farmers market will operate again at the Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza at 300 S. Sixth St. May 4 through Nov. 2.
And as more markets begin to open over the next few weeks, the City of Minneapolis has an online interactive map that makes it easy to find farmers markets all over the city. Clicking on the map pins at www.minneapolismn.gov/farmersmarkets will show the address, season dates and opening times for each market. The map will be updated as information becomes available on 2017 schedules. Nearly 30 farmers markets, mini markets and farm stands are expected to operate in Minneapolis this year.
Local produce is nutritious and affordable and easy to buy. Most of the markets accept “electronic benefits transfer” cards as payment to give residents on federal food assistance easier access to fresh, healthy food, and many now accept credit cards for payments to vendors or for market tokens. Buying food directly at a farmers market strengthens the community between the farmer and the eater, and it supports the regional economy by allowing the local farmer to keep 80 to 90 cents per dollar of sales.
While the Nicollet Mall farmers market currently on the Government Center South Plaza is the closest market for most downtown employees, Minneapolis residents can easily reach one of the 30 farmers markets on foot or by bicycle, which is good exercise and doesn’t pollute. Many of the farmers markets also serve to build community with prepared food, environment-themed educational activities and music. Some of the farmers markets are mini markets, special small markets that the City licenses to get more fresh and affordable produce on the table in low-income neighborhoods.
Check out Homegrown Minneapolis for more ways to get healthy, local food on the table. Homegrown Minneapolis is a citywide initiative expanding our community’s ability to grow, process, distribute, eat and compost more healthy, sustainable, locally grown foods.
Through Homegrown Minneapolis, the City of Minneapolis is a part of the Farmers Markets of Minneapolis collaborative along with all of the farmers markets in Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota. The collaborative is working together to ensure farmers markets are thriving cultural and economic assets that support health and prosperity for all Minneapolis’ communities and vendors.
People can keep their eyes open around town for a free copy of the 2017 Minnesota Grown Directory that features a list of Minneapolis farmers markets on the back.
Published May 2, 2017