Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
This Friday, June 12, will be the opening of the Kimball Area Farmers Market. The market will be held in the parking lot behind the Triple R and will be open every Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Farmers markets have sprung up in many of the towns in our area and across the country. The idea behind farmers markets is a simple one: local folks growing or making food and craft items and selling them to local folks. Shopping at farmers markets is a great way to enjoy fresh, locally-produced food. You know where the food comes from, the grower is right there and you can ask questions. And the best part, it is fun. Here are five tips on how to get the most from our very own farmers market:
Remember that it is a farmers market (not a flea market or a garage sale!) The food and craft items are locally grown and produced. The person selling the items will be the person who grew and produced them. Don't come expecting to haggle over some rusty relic or to pretend you are on "Let's Make a Deal".
Know your seasons. Don't expect to buy tomatoes this Friday. The things that will be available in the market will be the things that are growing and ready to harvest. Many of the items available this week will be home-produced crafts, baked goods, jams, jellies, salsa and farm-fresh eggs. More fruits and vegetables will come later.
The Kimball Area Farmers Market will be growing. Like many good things, it will start out small. With a little luck and a good relationship between growers and buyers, it will become a regular feature of Friday afternoons in Kimball.
Things to bring: a bag or two for your purchases, money (in smaller denominations), the kids, grandma, and a friendly attitude. Farmers markets are a great place to see your friends and neighbors and to have a little fun.
Be ready to try new things. Yak meat, goat cheese, kohlrabi and yellow beets may be things you haven't tried. But they are things that are produced right around here. With a bit of luck they will be available sometime this summer at the market for you to try.
Mr. Potato Head will be at the market this Friday. You can recognize him as the rather large, not too smart-looking guy. He will have his pride and joy, the Fourth of July tomato plant, with him. He wants to show it off, but it isn't for sale. He will also show you how to prune your tomato plants to get more tomatoes. See you there!
Next week: Pruning tomatoes. How to trick your tomato plants into growing more tomatoes and less vines and leaves.
If you have gardening questions or suggestions for Mr. Potato Head, please e-mail him at
Mr. Potato Head is Stearns County Master Gardener and Kimball resident Rick Ellis