April 20, 2018 (MINNEAPOLIS) The first farmers market of the season will open Saturday, and the City of Minneapolis has an online interactive map that makes it easy to find farmers markets all over the city. The other large markets start to open over the next few weeks. Clicking on the map pins at www.minneapolismn.gov/farmersmarkets will show the address, season dates and opening times for each market. The map will be updated as information becomes available on 2018 schedules.
Nearly 30 farmers markets and mini markets will operate in Minneapolis this year. In 2016 they collectively represented more than $12 million in vendor sales with about 800 vendors. In 2017, market vendors supported approximately 5,000 employees and welcomed an estimated 1.2 million annual visitors to the markets in Minneapolis. An estimated 10,000 agricultural acres were owned, leased or managed by Farmers Markets of Minneapolis vendors. All of the farmers markets operating in Minneapolis are collaborating as the Farmers Markets of Minneapolis to promote and gather more insights about the markets in partnership with the City of Minneapolis, University of Minnesota and many other market supporters. Supporting the markets supports this important economic engine for the local and regional community.
The first market of the season – the Minneapolis Farmers Market on Lyndale Avenue North – opens April 21. The Thursday Nicollet Mall farmers market will return this year to Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.
It’s easy for people to buy local produce. Most of the markets accept “electronic benefits transfer” cards as payment to give residents on federal food assistance easier access to fresh, healthy food, as well as Market Bucks, which provides $10 in additional healthy food to market shoppers using SNAP/electronic benefits transfer (EBT). Some of the farmers markets are mini markets, special small markets that the City licenses to get more fresh and affordable produce on the table in low-income neighborhoods.
Local produce is nutritious and affordable. Buying food directly at a farmers market strengthens the community between the farmer and the eater, and it supports the regional economy by allowing the local farmer to keep 80 to 90 cents per dollar of sales. Many Minneapolis residents can reach a farmers market on foot or by bicycle, which is good exercise and doesn’t pollute. Many of the farmers markets also serve to build community with prepared food, environment-themed educational activities and music.
Check out Homegrown Minneapolis for more ways to get healthy, local food on the table. Homegrown Minneapolis is a citywide initiative expanding our community’s ability to grow, process, distribute, eat and compost more healthy, sustainable, locally grown foods.