Minneapolis has enjoyed farmers’ markets throughout the city since 1876. For the past 150 years, farmers’ markets have flourished with more than a dozen different locations open for the 2022 season. These markets are a key avenue to connect people with the food they eat. Bringing local produce into the city is more than a way to support local businesses, but it also encourages visitors to include more fresh fruits and vegetables in their diets while reducing the ecological footprint required to get them. Despite Minnesota’s short growing season of only approximately 163 frost-free days, Minneapolis farmers’ markets offer a wide bounty of organic, locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Here, we highlight three to let you know where you can find them, what to expect, and when they are open.
By far the most iconic of Minneapolis farmers’ markets is its Lyndale Market. Known for its six red sheds, the Lyndale Market is open on weekends starting at 6:00am and running from the months of April to October. It is even open some weekdays, though the specifics often vary and will be confirmed on their social media beforehand.
The Lyndale Market actually contains two different farmers’ markets for the price of one. The first three sheds are managed by the Central Minnesota Vegetable Growers Association (CMVGA) a non-profit that sells local fruits, vegetables and farmstead products. The other three sheds are run by the Farmer’s Market Annex which sells clothing, arts, crafts, and jewelry in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Lyndale Market is the largest open-air market in Minnesota hosting up to 200 vendors on a given weekend. Just off of I-94, there is plenty of parking both beneath the highway, as well as on nearby streets. With various events throughout the summer and fall like Beer Gardens and live music, the Lyndale Market is a standby for a little bit of everything of the Minneapolis market scene.
Visit mplsfarmersmarket.com/lyndale-market for more details.
East Isles Farmer’s Market
Located on The Mall starting at Irving, just north of Lagoon Ave, is the East Isles Farmer’s Market. This particular market is the first farmer’s market located in a Minneapolis Park. The East Isles Farmer’s Market was created in a partnership between the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and East Isles Resident Association to “Further the mission of building community, promoting green spaces, and fostering neighbor relations.”
The East Isles Farmer’s Market sells food and food-related products only, with a specific focus on “Heirloom produce, mushrooms, fruit, cheese, as well as vegan, gluten-free, and fermented products.” The market is open Thursdays from 4:00pm to 8:00pm starting June 23 and running until September 29th.
Street parking is available along Irving and throughout the nearby neighborhood, and access to the East Isles Farmer’s Market by bus is made easy thanks to its proximity to the Uptown Transit Station. For a full schedule of food trucks at the farmer’s market, as well as a list of vendors you can visit the East Isles Farmer’s Market website at market.eastisles.org
Nicollet Mall Farmer’s Market
The Nicollet Mall Farmer’s Market is one of the best ways to get fresh fruit and vegetables in downtown Minneapolis. Created in partnership with the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID) and the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market Partnership, Nicollet Mall Farmer’s Market has been both an attraction for the mall, and a convenient stop for those downtown since its creation.
Nicollet Mall Farmer’s Market is open every Thursday from 10:00am to 2:00pm from the beginning of June through September. The market can be found on the Nicollet Mall between 6th and 9th street. While parking is available throughout downtown with street parking and on various ramps, foot traffic is the most common form of transportation throughout The Mall.
More than 60 different local farmers and vendors sell at the Nicollet Mall Farmer’s Market throughout the season for the more than 50,000 people that call downtown Minneapolis home. Yet despite that wide variety, the slogan for the market continues to be, “The best part is you.”
Visit mplsfarmersmarket.com for more.