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.
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.
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.
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