Summer is a great time for getting out to explore Minnesota. Long daylight hours make it easy to create getaways packed full of adventure. Behind any great travel story are the sights, the sounds, and the food experienced while away. Add one-of-a-kind food experiences to your next road trip by stopping at great Minnesota farmers’ markets along the way!
Minnesota Grown staff travel prepared for adventure by storing the directory in our cars! Click here and order your free directory and do the same! We drove along the the mighty Mississippi earlier this month, stopping at both the Red Wing Area Farmers’ Market and Wabasha Farmers’ Market along the way.
Set in a picturesque location outside the Red Wing train station, where travelers can still catch the Amtrak train, Red Wing Area Farmers Market is a stop fitting for any road trip. Farmers here were selling bright orange carrots, locally raised rabbit, sweet shelling peas, and more. Market president Char Smith, who sells handcrafted soaps, candles, and salves at the market, had a few highlights to share about the market.
“We have a very nice group of young producers at this market who are growing for customers’ tastes. Our farms often involve their families and kids too. It’s an aspect of our market I’m really proud of!“
“We try to create a welcoming environment for our market visitors by providing music every week and having demonstrations as often as possible. Some of our demonstrations have included a bee-keeper, a wood-turner, and 4-H Program youth who come and display the animals they are raising. In addition, our producers love to share about the process or history of the goods that they raise or market.”
Wabasha may be the home of “Grumpy Old Men” but Sara George, Wabasha Farmers Market manager, is anything but grumpy! While we were visiting, Sara happily explained to two different families about the Power of Produce program which gives children a $2 token to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at the market.
“I’m really proud of all of the different programs that we focus on at our market! Programs like the Power of Produce have been very popular with families with kids. I’m also proud of how accessible we are trying to make healthy fruits and vegetables by accepting SNAP EBT, Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks, and WIC Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers.”
Vendors with these signs can accept FMNP checks and WIC Fruit/Vegetable Vouchers
“This year we’re the first farmers market in Minnesota to be licensed to aggregate our fresh produce at the end of the day and sell that produce to places like the local school, hospital, or restaurants.”
For tourists traveling through the area, Sara hopes they all ask questions of farmers at the market. It’s a great way to learn more about the food on display but also what might be fun to do in the surrounding area. Wabasha and nearby towns have many small, locally owned businesses that Sara and other vendors recommend to curious customers. Often in the summer, there are also local festivals that can be fun to add to a weekend road trip.
No matter where you go, whip out your Minnesota Grown directory to see what local foods experiences you can have along the way!