Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Another option for shopping local: the Faribault Winter Farmer’s Market December 15, 2016

Bluebird Cakery in historic downtown Faribault is decorated for the holidays.

Bluebird Cakery in historic downtown Faribault is decorated for the holidays.

UPDATE, 1:50 PM Friday: Because of the winter storm, the Faribault Winter Farmers’ Market will be closed on Saturday. Instead, the market will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, December 21.

LOCALLY-GROWN/MADE has been trending for awhile. Know what you’re buying. Know the source. Know the farmer, the craftsman, the artisan.

Downtown Faribault last Saturday afternoon, here looking south on Central Avenue.

Downtown Faribault last Saturday afternoon, here looking south on Central Avenue.

This time of year, especially, we’re encouraged to shop local.


In my community of Faribault, it’s easy to buy local, direct from the hands of those who raised or grew or crafted. And nowhere is that more grassroots possible than at the Faribault Winter Farmers’ Market.

The musicians' list of holiday songs and music.

The musicians’ list of holiday songs and music.

New to Faribault’s holiday shopping scene, the market fills the cozy lobby of the Paradise Center for the Arts, 321 Central Avenue, in our historic downtown. Vendors offer jams, breads, cupcakes, horseradish, apples, maple syrup, beef, soap and more. I dropped by last Saturday afternoon to check out the winter market, recognizing sellers from the summer market in Central Park.




The mood was festive with a duo performing holiday tunes in a side meeting room/mini gallery. In the main gallery and in the gift shop, local art was available for purchase as part of the arts center’s Holly Days.




With the market winding down for the day, vendors had time to visit and personally promote their offerings. I sampled mango jelly on a saltine cracker. Randy sampled apples and bought a bulging bag of juicy Pzazz, an open-pollinated Honeycrisp cross. We love this apple, unheard of by us until the purchase from Apple Creek Orchard. We talked horseradish making with another vendor.




Earlier that day we shopped local across the street at our favorite cheese shop, The Cheese Cave. There Randy bought a wheel of St. Pete’s Select blue cheese and a chunk of a special edition Smoked St. Mary’s Grass-Fed Gouda, both made and aged in Faribault caves.


Faribault's Central Avenue from Fourth Street south.

Faribault’s Central Avenue from Fourth Street south.


I am fortunate to live in a community where local is valued, where good folks tend and harvest crops, where the bounty of the earth and of hands is shared at the farmers’ market and beyond.

TELL ME: What can you find that is locally-grown/made in your community?

FYI: The Faribault Winter Farmers’ Market is open this Saturday, December 17, from 1 – 4 p.m.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbing


18 Responses to “Another option for shopping local: the Faribault Winter Farmer’s Market”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    We have an amazing community and lots of opportunities to buy local. We have a Farmer’s Market that continues all year long outside where there are a lot of artisans and local growers that share their wares, Many of our shops downtown feature local artists and craftspeople as well. This year Chris and I bought all of his employee gifts locally and loved being able to support our community that way. And now I have a new favorite local item to buy–cookies from Reason to Bake! 🙂

  2. Littlesundog Says:

    A winter farmer’s market is an excellent idea! There is nothing like that here. I do believe Lawton, OK (about an hour away) does have such a weekend market though. It’s a military city which is lovely as there is a varied cultural interest – international flair!

  3. Marneymae Says:

    i love that there were musicians playing!
    fabulous & festive for the senses.
    i’ve never heard of Pzazz apple, but if it was a cross with Honeycrisp, likely to be a gooder.
    i’m happy to say that i’ll be participating in a small local craft fair this year, next week, at the Credit Union where i do my banking.
    thanks again for your posts, and for your encouragement regarding my artwork, and thanks for supporting the Faribault vendors!

  4. treadlemusic Says:

    There are more and more of these winter farmers’ markets going on these days. Continues the “fellowship” in a climate where ‘cocooning’ is generally practiced at this time of year!!!!!! LUV that bleu cheese!!!!!! Fun post…………….

  5. Valerie Says:

    If I were in town this Saturday I’d drive down to your Winter Framer’s Market. I do like the idea of buying local when possible. My friend makes delicious caramels and sells them in nice gift boxes. It’s a great gift.

  6. I love shopping at farmers markets. I love the way you captured the snow falling beautiful

  7. Hi Audrey – Thank you for visiting the new Winter Farmers’ Market in Faribault and blogging about your experience. I’ve shared it on our Faribault Winter Farmers’ Market Facebook page. Today is our final day of the market as we changed the date due to the anticipated winter storm that was supposed to take place last weekend. We’re excited to run this on a weekday to see how it goes and to gain ideas for next year. Tiffany (Market Manager)

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