Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Connecting to community at the Faribault Farmers’ Market June 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:47 AM
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A snippet of the Faribault Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning.

IT IS A PLACE of conversation and crafty creations, of canned garden goods and garden fresh produce, of homemade breads and muffins and sweet treats.

That, my friends, defines the Faribault Farmers’ Market in one swoop of a summary sentence.

Break that sentence down and you will meet Ken, the weaver; Bernie, the woodcrafter; Judy, the card maker; Sandi, the gardener; Denny, the candy maker; Rhonda, the crafter; Pat, the re-purposer of stuff; and many more vendors.

Bernie’s woodcrafted goods, right.

Saturday morning my husband and I shopped our local farmers’ market in Faribault’s Central Park because we appreciate these folks who work with their hands to bring us all that edible goodness, all those crafty creations, all those beautiful flowers and more.

Sandi’s stunning Asiatic lilies.

Cauliflower, from the chemical-free fields of a market vendor, in its natural, sun-exposed color.

More market flowers from a vendor who always sells beautiful, mixed bouquets.

We purchased Swiss chard, a bag of mixed green lettuce, red potatoes, cauliflower, a card to celebrate the birth of our new great nephew and four salted peanut bars, all for $12.25.

The red potatoes we purchased from Sandi, who planted her potatoes on April 13.

But the value of our shopping experience expands beyond our purchases. The value lies also in engaging with our community, with those who are our neighbors and friends and with those who become our friends through our conversations at the market.

Ken of Wegner Weavers weaves these tightly woven, superb quality rugs, runners, placemats and coasters.

After chatting with Ken, the weaver, I was blessed with one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received. Ken didn’t know me except as an occasional shopper. But he told me how much he enjoyed our visit, that I spoke in a comforting way. And, you know, I nearly cried for the unsolicited kindness of the weaver’s words weaving into my heart.

The vintage portable radio Ken, the weaver, brings with him to the market. In my opinion, Ken doesn’t need a radio; he makes music with his words. He says he doesn’t play the radio often as it can detract from business.

Satisfied customers leave the market with fresh onions.

Bernie’s kitschy yard art.

FYI: The Faribault Farmers’ Market is open from 7 a.m. – noon on Saturdays. Beginning on July 11, it will also be open from 1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesdays.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling