The Midtown Farmers Market opened for business on Saturday with a new market manager, Longfellow resident Miguel Goebel. Prior to his position at the Farmers Market, Goebel was the Seward Co-op’s grocery buyer. According to the Market’s website, his experience spans “local and international food systems, ranges from working with indigenous farmers in organic production to assisting small corner store owners in offering healthy, affordable produce.”
We caught up with Goebel and had the opportunity to ask him about his vision for growing the Market, the challenges it faces, and what you can find at the Market right now.
What first got you interested in organic agriculture and building community around food systems?
My sophomore year of college I had a plant propagation class with an enthusiastic and inspiring professor, the late Dr. Albert Markhart at the University of Minnesota. His love for plants and passion for organic agriculture, along with his dynamic teaching style ignited a spark inside of me and since then I’ve tried to be involved in food systems and creating greater food access as much as possible.
Why is the Midtown Farmers Market important?
The Midtown Farmers Market is important because it serves as a resource to help increase access to healthy local foods in the communities of South Minneapolis. It is a place for residents to gather and enjoy the amazing products that our farmers and vendors offer, share stories and exchange cultural traditions. The market is also a place where community members can become engaged and take ownership in what we do.
What are your goals for the Midtown Farmers Market?
Some of my goals for the Midtown Farmers Market include to sustain and build on the success of our SNAP-EBT and Market Bucks programs, continue to increase the diversity and mix of our great vendors and patrons and to ensure the stability of the market into the future.
What are the Market’s strengths?
I think the markets’ greatest strengths include: the support of residents and surrounding communities for the market through volunteering and attending the market; the accessibility of the market, both financially and its’ central location; and the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, quality meats and dairy products and beautiful arts and crafts that can be found at the market.
What are the challenges that the Market faces?
One challenge the market faces is competing with and differentiating itself from all of the other great farmers markets in the Twin Cities. I know it kind of sounds silly, but we really need to work hard to keep our vendors with us, in order to continue to attract customers and grow.
How can the Midtown Farmers Market help build community?
The Midtown Farmers Market helps to build community by creating a forum for community members to come and engage with one another. It gives people an opportunity to get to know one another, become involved and participate in making our food systems more stable and secure.
With the crazy spring we’ve had, what will people find at the market during May?
Although we’ve had a weird, and at times frustrating spring, there will still be plenty of great products at the market this May. Some of these items include: meat, eggs, jams and jellies, honey, artisan bread, lamb, cheese, butter, yogurt, bedding plants and seed starters, coffee, scones, croissants, cookies, breakfast sandwiches, fruit tarts, omelets, arepas, tamales, tea, soda, hamburgers, brats, handmade bird houses, ceramics, furniture, jewelry and handbags.
As things begin to warm up we will surely start to see more delicious greens, radishes, asparagus, snap peas, rhubarb, scallions, herbs, flowers and more!
When you aren’t managing the market, what do you enjoy doing?
In my free time I enjoy the outdoors, gardening, spending time with my family and friends and living an active lifestyle.
Scenes from opening day at the Market
Jackie Green of Gardens of Eagan preps her sale sign for the day at the Midtown Farmers Market. Jackie works the farmers markets, and her husband manages the farm’s green house operations.
Tesh sells his wife Asse’s Italian pastries at the Market. The couple’s business was named after their daughter. They have had such good success at the market that they plan to expand the bakery to a storefront location on Franklin Avenue in Seward.
The Midtown Farmers Market is located at Lake St & 22nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407. It is open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Editor’s Note: This original article incorrectly identified the owner of Gardens of Eagan, we’ve updated the article with the correct information.