Minneapolis, Minn. – National Farmers’ Market Week (NFMW) is taking place August 1-7 in communities across the country. Minnesota will wrap up the week of celebration at a public event on Saturday, August 7 at the Midtown Farmers’ Market located at 3032 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis in the Moon Palace Books parking lot. There will be shopping and activities for guests throughout the morning, with a presentation from dignitaries including Minnesota’s Commissioner of Agriculture Thom Petersen from 10:00-10:30 a.m. “I’m thrilled to be celebrating the vital role farmers’ markets play in connecting Minnesota producers to buyers seeking fresh, healthy, local food,” Petersen said.
Following the presentation, Petersen and a special guest will demonstrate the preparation of their chosen farmers’ market drink of the month—Midtown Iced Tea. Samples will be available for guests at this free event that is open to the public. The event is being presented in partnership by the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association (MFMA), Minnesota Grown (MG), Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU), and the Midtown Farmers’ Market.
NFMW is a yearly celebration sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which highlights the value markets bring to communities and the important role they play in the U.S. food system. Each year, farmers’ markets across Minnesota participate in the event by creating their own independent celebrations. "National Farmers' Market Week is a great opportunity to celebrate local markets and to highlight the essential role that small and mid-size farmers play in our local food shed,” said Kathy Zeman, Executive Director of the MFMA. “The Midtown Farmers’ Market is the perfect place to wrap up this years’ week-of-celebration. They host over 50,000 visitors a year, were awarded Best Farmers’ Market of 2020 by City Pages, and were the first farmers’ market in Minnesota to accept SNAP. The Midtown Farmers’ Market combines great energy, a wonderful supply of locally grown foods, and great culture.”
According to statistics by the USDA, farmers’ markets and farm stands account for roughly $2 billion of the $3 billion that Americans spend annually on farm-direct products. This revenue supports the livelihoods of more than 165,000 mostly small and mid-sized farmers. Agriculture is the foundation of Minnesota's economy, and Minnesota currently has more than 350 farmers’ markets located in all corners of the state. “Farmers’ markets are an important part of the economy and an invaluable connection between farmers and consumers,” said Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Gary Wertish. “Farmers bring healthy, fresh, nutrient-dense foods to markets where consumers spend their dollars directly with family farmers who in turn invest those dollars to grow their communities. Minnesota Farmers Union is proud to support Minnesota Farmers’ Markets not only during National Farmers’ Market Week, but throughout the year.”
In 2020, early in the pandemic, farmers’ markets in Minnesota were deemed essential, and market operators worked tirelessly to keep markets open. The NFMW celebration looks to honor that hard work and success. “We are so excited to host the National Farmers’ Market festivities at the Midtown Farmers Market,” said Molly Fleming, assistant manager. “We have been committed to operating full seasons during the pandemic and uprisings our city has faced, only cancelling one market in 2020. We strive to be a community gathering space, and a place for healing and hope in the Southside.”
Schedule of Activities:
- Guest speakers
- Midtown Market’s Keeya Allen
- MFMA’s Kathy Zeman
- MFU’s Gary Wertish
- MDA’s Thom Petersen
- Farmers’ Market Drink of the Month: Midtown Iced Tea – sampling available
- Other shopping and activities
About the Midtown Farmers’ Market:
The Midtown Farmers’ Market has been operating since 2003 and was founded as a community effort between residents, businesses, and non-profits. The mission of the Midtown Farmers’ Market is to create a vibrant forum in South Minneapolis that connects community residents and nearby rural food producers in a mutually beneficial economic and cultural exchange. In 2019-2021 they have been hosted by Moon Palace Books at Lake and Minnehaha but will return to their original home at Lake and Hiawatha at a new civic plaza.
About the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association:
The Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association (MFMA) provides services, programs, and leadership that support and promote farmers’ markets across Minnesota. The organization works to foster a community of vibrant, profitable and professionally managed Minnesota farmers’ markets that cultivate, nourish and inspire a vibrant local foods landscape. The MFMA vision is to create greater accessibility to local, farm-fresh foods and to allow opportunities for local food producers to thrive and grow.
About Minnesota Grown:
The mission of the Minnesota Grown Program of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is to create consumer awareness of Minnesota Grown products, increase demand for Minnesota Grown products and to link buyers and sellers of these products. The program publishes a comprehensive online map directory of participating members. Participants in the program are a diverse group of farmers and processors, including farmers markets, nurseries and garden centers, apple orchards, berry farms, Christmas tree farms, honey producers, maple syrup producers, livestock producers, wineries, community supported agriculture farms, and other producers of specialty crops and livestock.
About Minnesota Farmers Union:
Minnesota Farmers Union works to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. MFU is a nonprofit membership-based organization. Membership is open to everyone. Learn more and join at www.mfu.org, and follow MFU on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.