Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Celebrating locally-grown, crafted & more at the Faribault Farmers’ Market September 15, 2015

Sunshine drenched sunflowers Saturday morning at the Faribault Farmers' Market.

Sunshine drenches sunflowers Saturday morning at the Faribault Farmers’ Market.

BRILLIANT SUNSHINE SLICED sharp angles into the morning. Not ideal for photography. But a perfect morning for Family Day at the Faribault Farmers’ Market. It was a pull your jacket around you in the shade and remove it in the sunshine type of early autumn Saturday morning.

All ages flocked to the market for Family Day.

All ages flocked to the market for Family Day.

Music adds to the festive feel of the event.

Music adds to the festive feel of the event.

Attendees could learn about bees.

Attendees could learn about bees.

And then purchase a jar of beautiful honey.

And then purchase a jar of beautiful honey.

These colorful hats would brighten any Minnesota winter day.

These colorful hats would brighten any Minnesota winter day.

And the crowd was in an almost festive mood as a piccolo played, bees buzzed, friends chatted and vendors displayed garden fresh produce, handcrafted items, baked goods and more. Shoppers could sample local honey smeared on graham crackers, homemade yogurt, apple slices and other goods as they meandered the northern and western perimeters of Central Park.

Feeding the goats.

Kids loved the goats…

...but were more cautious around the cattle.

…but were more cautious around the cattle.

Plus, the kids (and adults) could pet goats and Red Angus and Hereford cattle.

Freebies and samples.

Freebies and samples.

I love events like this geared toward families. From my observations, Family Day was a success. I frequent the Faribault Farmers’ Market. And never have I seen so many kids there. Several vendors remarked the same, expressing their appreciation for the number of folks who scoped out the market, many likely for the first time.

Henry, 21 months, enjoyed a cupcake from Bluebird Bakery.

Henry, 21 months, enjoys a cupcake from Bluebird Cakery.

Folks waited in line for these cupcakes.

Folks waited in line for these cupcakes.

Kids also waited to get their faces painted. Proceeds benefited four Faribault High School football players injured in a serious crash last week.

Kids also waited to get their faces painted. Proceeds benefited four Faribault High School football players injured in a serious crash last week.

Anne from Know-How Brews & Foods, spooned granola onto homemade yogurt as she handed out samples.

Anne from Know-How Brews & Foods spoons granola onto homemade yogurt as she hands out samples.

To me it seems a no-brainer, to offer activities for young families. Twice a month would be good. A line queued for face-painting and for Bluebird Cakery cupcakes. Grandmas strolled hand-in-hand with granddaughters. Kids poked sticks and grass at goats. Shoppers snagged reusable cloth bags from Rice County Public Health and other info from the University of Minnesota Extension Services and the Faribault Chamber of Commerce.

A mom and her young daughters sell gladioli through their business, Three Glad Girls.

A mom and her young daughters sell gladiolus through their business, The Three Glad Girls.

An example of the goat soap crafted at Whispering Creek Farm, rural Morristown.

An example of the goat soap crafted at Whispering Creek Farm, rural Morristown.

Produce abounds this time of year.

Produce abounds this time of year.

Our youth need this interactive connection to animals and the land, to those who grow and raise our food. They need to meet the hardworking individuals who tend plants and animals and the creative types who craft with their hands and hold dear those skills.

A perfect hot pad for the season.

A perfect hot pad for the season.

And now with harvest peaking, it’s the ideal time to showcase our local farmers’ market often and creatively with family-geared activities. A straw bale maze. Build a scarecrow. Pumpkin ring toss. The ideas are only limited by creativity and willing volunteers.

A musician plays her accordion at the market.

A musician plays her accordion at the market.

I’d like to hear your thoughts and suggestions on activities for families at a farmers’ market.

BONUS PHOTOS:

Peppers pop color and heat into the marketplace.

Peppers pop color and heat into the marketplace.

Vendors are still selling sweetcorn.

Vendors are still selling sweetcorn.

This jar of veggies carries the perfect name, "Summer in a Jar."

This jar of veggies carries the perfect name, “Summer in a Jar.”

Ears of colorful Indian corn are beginning to show up in vendors' offerings.

Ears of colorful Indian corn are beginning to show up in vendors’ offerings.

A vendor cradles a dog.

A vendor cradles a dog.

According to several vendors, the tomatoes were not that great this growing season. However, an abundance of them is available at the market.

According to several vendors, the tomatoes were not that great this growing season. However, an abundance of them is available at the market.

Zinnias, my favorite cut flowers from the garden.

Zinnias, my favorite cut, easy-to-grow garden flowers.

FYI: The Faribault Farmers’ Market is open seasonally from 1:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. Wednesdays and from 7 a.m. – noon on Saturdays in Central Park near downtown. You’ll find lots of other offerings, like jewelry, baked goods, wood crafts, and more, in addition to what I’ve showcased here in words and images.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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26 Responses to “Celebrating locally-grown, crafted & more at the Faribault Farmers’ Market”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    The last market I was at had a watermelon spitting contest. 🙂 I thought that was a great idea. It also had tractors that kids could climb up on and sit in which was another fun thing for kids who have never been around farm equipment. There are so many things that some of us take for granted but the youth of today have no clue about so things like these markets with opportunities to share those parts of life are really important.

  2. Thread crazy Says:

    Oh what fun; your local farmers market has something for everyone. Love those sunflowers, a true symbol of the beginning of fall (or at least it is to me). The face painting is perfect or the younger one! Looks like fun was had by all who attended.

  3. Marneymae Says:

    Loving this profusion of color & bounty, held in community

  4. A Sense of Community as well as a Sense of Interaction and Connection! The one harvest fair we attended in Cali had a themed scarecrow building contest every year for kids of all ages. We loved looking at the creativity that becomes art. I love events like these and have been frequenting a few down here to become a part of our new community. Plus it supports the local businesses and gives you a chance to interact with local business owners – BONUS! Thanks so much for sharing – Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

  5. Dan Traun Says:

    Ah Farmers’ Market – they are hard to beat. I am sad to say that I have not been to a single one all season. I must remedy this very soon. I like the later time on this one 1:30 p.m. The ones I usually go to start quite early and if you are not there right away, you run the risk of missing out on some tasty things.

  6. Wow so many awesome photos I can’t pick a favorite. The food looks awesome. The flowers can’t bother my allergies in pictures and those hats looked to be knitted with 2 strands of yarn. Perfect for our MidWestern winters.

  7. Littlesundog Says:

    I love these photos… so bright with color and happy faces. I would recognize those Habanero chili’s anywhere. I planted them one year for fun, ended up with a bumper crop and I couldn’t give them away!!

  8. Kay Herbst Helms Says:

    LOVE your photos of the Faribault market! They made me wish I lived closer.

  9. hotlyspiced Says:

    I’d love to wander around that market. I’ve never seen Indian corn in real life – only in photos. I’d love to try some. The goat soap looks really good and I’ve heard it’s very gentle on your skin. It’s great there were animals for the children to connect with and learn from. It looks like a beautiful autumn day xx

  10. Sweet Posy Dreams Says:

    Wonderful. Goat soap is a favorite of mine, as are zinnias. And, of course, the cupcakes!

  11. Wyonne Long Says:

    Hi Audrey!
    Thanks so much for your Minnesota sharing!! It is so exciting!!
    I’m from MN living in Norway at the present time and found your Rothsay, MN, post. I am also a tour-leader and will be traveling with a group of 47 from Norway next week. I was so excited when I saw your pictures and comments about Rothsay. My group is from a rural/farming area. Your pictures of the grain elevator reminded me that my cousin works at that elevator – I called him and he is willing to share his knowledge and experiences about it. And the prairie chicken statue was built by another relative with roots from Norway!
    Keep up the great work!!


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