Those of you reading this who live in the Upper Midwest already know what a dismally late spring we had. Here in Minnesota, we’d get little teasers of warmth and sunshine, then boom—wind, snow, cold, and graupel. No wonder we rejoice when that 10-day forecast no longer threatens us with Arctic temps and blasts of snow.
When spring arrives, we not only celebrate the weather. We celebrate something that each member of the Solberg Creative team wholeheartedly loves: Farmers markets. Those community blessings were on our mind when we learned it was National Farmers Market Week recently. We definitely think farmers markets are something to celebrate.
Community engagement and farm markets
In fact, we not only love farmers markets as shoppers. Our community engagement partner, Amy Arcand of Willow Consulting worked with neighborhood volunteers to open the Midtown Farmers Market in 2003 at Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue. As the executive director of the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization in south Minneapolis, she listened when the community expressed interest in starting a market and improving access to locally grown food. The market has thrived for 20 seasons, helped launch numerous businesses, supported farmers, and served as a gathering place for the neighborhood.
But this year, farmers are struggling because of the late spring. Crops went in very late, and in some cases, still froze. In early May, we usually find all kinds of delightful things at the markets: Spinach, lettuce, rhubarb, asparagus, radishes, bok choy, ramps, green garlic, to name just a few. But this year, many farmers didn’t even come to the first weeks of the market because of the late spring. They’re recovering, but no doubt now worry about the possibility of an early fall causing other crops not to come to fruition.
So we ask you to join us and support your local farmers as they faced a rough start to the year (and hopefully this is the worst of it for 2022). Find your local market, buy your local produce, and chat with your local farmer—they love to talk farming and vegetables.