It's finally time for the farmer's market! Well, they've actually been up and running for a while now, but this last weekend was the first opportunity I had to go to my farmer's market and buy some delicious produce. I go to the St. Paul Farmers' Market in Lowertown, which is on East 5th Street, about a block away from Mears Park. It's open at 6am Saturdays and 8am on Sundays and is open through 1pm. They have a more limited schedule in the winter, but right now it's in full swing.
I adore the St. Paul market. I love going there early Sunday mornings and walking around with my cup of coffee. I love talking to the farmers about their produce and learning things about tomatoes and herbs. I love the sea of reusable grocery bags. I love that everything at the St. Paul market is local...you won't find any rogue bananas or mangoes here! It's a lovely little community. Can I say "love" just one more time?
This Sunday I had a bit of spare time to take a leisurely stroll around the market and check out all of the seasonal options. I found lettuces, sugar snap peas, the ever-confusing kohlrabi, rhubarb, garlic chives (yes!), bedding plants, and the beginnings of broccoli. And wait, what's this.... strawberries! You haven't lived until you've had a strawberry fresh from a farm. These oddly-shaped, miniature morsels are packed with a sweet, juicy punch. Plus they are just so cute.
I also saw some of my favorite local vendors, including the Wolf Honey Farm from the St.Croix Valley. They make some amazing honey and you can try each variety to see which tastes best to you. I picked up a bottle of the more mild clover honey and perused some of the beeswax products and the honey sticks. But seriously, who wouldn't love that bee hat!
Then I picked up some salsa from Snappy Dog Salsa. I tasted the mild and medium options, but then they pointed me to a rhubarb salsa. I was skeptical. But after a quick taste, I realized they were on to something! It was spicy with a bit of a sweet, tart edge from the rhubarb. So I bought me a jar of this totally awesome, seasonal salsa. They recommended pairing the salsa with some chopped-up avocado for a really easy guacamole. Yum.
I also love the flowers at the St. Paul market. So many colorful varieties, and wow are they reasonably priced. I've had a few friends that used flowers from the farmer's market for their weddings and it always turned out gorgeous.
I'm sure I'll have more posts about the St. Paul Farmers' Market as the seasons continues. Some weekends I go there just to learn something new about produce or growing my herbs. And one of these days, I will succumb to the temptation of the egg rolls and spring rolls that one of the vendors serves! Who says that you can't have an egg roll at 8:00 in the morning?