Midtown Farmers Market: Bigger, better, and here to stay


The Corcoran Neighborhood Organization called a press conference yesterday to announce some good news about the Midtown Farmers Market at Lake St. and Hiawatha – it’s bigger and better this year, and its future seems more secure.

More than 50 Minnesota and Wisconsin farmers have signed up to sell produce at the market this season, along with some 20 crafts vendors and about 10 prepared food operations. The number of vendors at the market will grow over the course of the growing season, but already this Saturday you can expect to find locally grown strawberries, lettuce and bedding plants, as well as lamb, chicken, eggs and cheese, bread, pastries and pickles.

The number of dining options is expanding, too – old favorites Mara’s Midtown Crepes, Taco Taxi, Magic Bus Cafe and Fireroast Mountain Cafe will be joined by Olive Pizza, which specializes in wood oven pizzas, and the Dandelion Cafe, serving “globally inspired street food.”

If you use EBT, the Midtown Farmers Market has a special promotion for you, starting early next month – the first $5 that you convert to market tokens will be matched by $5, contributed by the Blue Cross Center for Prevention. The Midtown Farmers Market was the first in the state to accept EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer, often referred to as food stamps) payments, and has now been joined by the Plymouth Ave. N. Farmers Market (i.e., the big one), and the Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market.

For the past few years, the market’s future has been in doubt. The market is located on a six and a half acre site owned by the Minneapolis Public Schools, and has operated year-to-year while awaiting a decision about the future use of the property. The good news is that the market has been written into MPS’s plans for redevelopment, and will be included in the request for proposals that the school district sends to developers.

The site of the press conference, Gandhi Mahal restaurant at 3009 27th Ave. S. turned out to be a very appropriate choice – according to acting market manager Amy Behrens, chef-owner Ruhel Islam buys a lot of his produce at the market.