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What's Fresh? Opening Day of the Walker Farmer's Market June 2nd

What's Fresh?
This week, we're finding out What's Fresh at the Walker Farmers Market

This summer, we're connecting you with the growers, farmers, crafters, and makers at the farmers markets around the northern Minnesota region. On Thursday, June 2nd, the Walker Farmers Market has its opening day festivities. The market is hosted by the Green Scene Market and Eatery, and Heidi Holtan was joined by the owner of the Green Scene, Erin Haefele, to chat more about the importance of local food systems in northern Minnesota. DaNae Johnson, owner/farmer of Vibrant Farm in Laporte also joined in the conversation. Click the player above to learn more about What's Fresh at the Walker Farmer's Market.

It's still early in the growing season here in the northland, but that doesn't mean there won't be plenty of fresh produce to be had at the opening day of the Walker Farmers Market at the Green Scene Market and Eatery. According to Haefele, there has been a rise in growers using indoor growing setups and outdoor technologies like greenhouses and hoophouses. All that innovation means plenty of fresh produce, even at the early stage of the growing season.

"We'll have plenty of fresh vegetables, locally grown meats, mushrooms, cheese, baked goods, a full market full of locally-produced food," Haefele said.

Johnson, owner and grower of Vibrant Farm, gave Heidi a full tour of what was growing in her space in Laporte. "We've got micro-arugula back there, and basil, and the pink is amaranth and radish, and broccoli and peas," she said. "And we've got sunflowers growing on the other side of the room. Micro-arugula is great because it's already bite sized and it's a good portion to sprinkle on salads. They even use it on the pizzas at the Green Scene. It's got a good balance of flavor and it's so small and it hasn't gotten to the point of being an adult, it's never as woody or too spicy, so it's got that nutty flavor."

Along with fresh produce, there will be a number of other locally-sourced products available at the market. The Green Scene is offering a new lineup of craft cocktails at the market, which has allowed them to venture into the world of Minnesota distilleries. "We've always offered food, but we added on last spring, and we have a craft cocktail bar now," Haefele said. "We're bringing ingredients from Minnesota farms and bringing them into a cocktail glass, which is different for us."

With over 45 vendors participating in the Walker Farmers Market opening day, there is sure to be something fresh to interest you. Haefele's challenge to market-goers is to try and source everything you need for a meal at your place or someone else's place all from products at the market. "My whole goal is 'can I create an entire meal' and, if I'm going somewhere else, a hostess gift,' can I get everything I need at the market. From fresh flowers, to cutting boards, condiments, kimchi, jam, jelly, honey, maple syrup. You name it, our area has it all!"

"It's important for anybody in your community to source out local." Haefele said. "Whether it be food or clothing or a retail store, being able to support your local economy So I like the fact that at our market, you can source all those items. It also helps support our local farmland, it keeps that farmland going. So when you support a local farmer, you are supporting the people in your community."

With the market season starting to bloom around the region, we're keeping you connected to What's Fresh in northern Minnesota. Stay tuned to KAXE/KBXE all summer for updates on your local market.