Frost-free Friday is the last Friday in May, and it marks both the start of the growing season and the start to local farmers' markets. This time of year fresh lettuces, local meat and cheese, hand-harvested wild rice, vegetable plants, flowers, honey, baked goods and more can all be found at area farmers’ markets. As the summer goes on, the selection will continue to expand.
The Pine River Market Square kicks off this Friday, May 31, with not just the farmers’ market but also a big plant sale. The annual plant sale is a great way to support the Pine River-Backus Community Garden and Community Education. You'll be able to find all kinds of vegetables and flowers for your garden. You’ll also find all your favorite farmers’ market goods.
The Pine River Market Square is three blocks east of the Hwy. 371 stoplights on the north side of the road. You can’t miss it. The market is from 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Perhaps the area’s newest farmers’ market is in Ideal Corners, just outside the new Ideal Green Market Co-op. It takes place every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and features homemade soaps, plants, local alpaca wool and more. The Ideal Green Market is located off County Road 16 right next to the Old Milwaukee Club. Its first weekend of the year was May 25.
While you’re there, you can also pick up local and organic foods from the Ideal Green Market, a co-op with a wide variety of products, including organic and locally-grown produce and specialty items.
The Nisswa Farmers’ Market has also kicked of its season, selling wild rice, honey, plants (including vegetables and flowers) and even inoculated mushroom logs, which will grow delicious edible mushrooms in your own back yard!
The Nisswa Farmers’ Market is open every Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It’s located in the American Legion parking lot, just north of town on Main St. in Nisswa. Follow signs from town.
The Nisswa Farmers’ Market is part of the Lakes Area Growers Market, which also has locations in Brainerd and Baxter. The Brainerd market takes place every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Franklin Arts Center parking lot, located here. Baxter’s farmers’ market is Friday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Viking Land Harley-Davidson parking lot just off Highway 210.
All area farmers' markets will be selling their goods weekly through the fall, usually until the beginning of October.