A Saturday farmers market in these parts is music to my ears (and we even hear there will be live musicians). We've got the fabulous Kingfield venue on Sundays, but now I'll be able to get my week's worth of goodies, regardless of which weekend day I'm free to wander the farm stands and treat purveyors.
To give you an idea of how the new Fulton Farmers Market came into being, here's some cross-neighborhood history to make a Southwesterner proud, plus a brief description of the inaugural day's vendors and events.
"Passionate and dedicated Fulton volunteers wanted to find a way to bring folks together on a regular basis," said Fulton Neighborhood Association (FNA) board member, Meg Cowden. So, in 2009 they began working towards bringing a farmers market to the neighborhood, enlisting Kingfield Farmers Market to help the next year.
Now after much planning and organizing, opening day is just around the corner on May 21. The Lake Harriet Methodist Church parking lot on Chowen Avenue will house the weekly market, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday through late October.
According to another FNA board member, Jeff Alden, "There were a lot of people in the neighborhood who wanted a market, and at the same time Kingfield was interested in expanding."
The timing was perfect, and the Kingfield Farmers Market reached out to their Fulton counterparts. The FNA and market committee were more than happy to work with another Southwest Minneapolis group, especially such a successful one. Also, they would be able to build their new enterprise under the auspices of Kingfield market's existing non-profit organization. A statement of mutual intent was drawn up between the two that laid the groundwork for getting the Fulton market up and running for 2011. That and a small grant from the FNA to cover start-up costs helped to stoke the fires.
David Brauer, local journalist and de facto spokesperson for the Kingfield Farmers Market, explained that his organization wanted to "stay where we were and open a second site," instead of increasing the size of the existing market on Nicollet Avenue.
"It's been a really congenial effort," said Alden, of learning from the experienced Kingfielders, which has resulted in a first Saturday that should see 23 vendors hawking produce, annuals, perennials, crafts, prepared foods, veggie starts and more.
While several sellers will be at both markets, like , who will feature 3-4 breads, biscuits and gravy and new creations like rhubarb crumb pies, Fulton will have some of their very own features and products, like fresh pastas and 's baked goods. Opening day also promises children's activities from the city park board and a free bike repair clinic from The Alt.
Vendor Peter Marshall from Peter's Pumpkins told Patch, "We hope the Fulton Market will be another Kingfield."
While the missions of the two markets are similar — to improve access to local foods and foster a sense of community — Cowden explained that they've chosen several sustainable, local farmers who are making their market debut and the Fulton location may also attract a slightly different clientele.
"In addition to our own neighborhood, we anticipate serving Linden Hills, Armatage and parts of Lynnhurst and Edina," said Cowden.
Her peer Alden assured Patch that the markets will have separate identities. There is a one thing that he concedes to his contemporaries to the east, however. "The difference between our board meetings is at Kingfield's there's more eating."
/4901 Chowen Ave. S.
Saturday, May 21 - late October
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