Mill City Farmers’ Market… one of the most interesting in the state!


The Farmers’ Market at the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis is one of the smaller markets in the area but offers some of the most interesting vendors representing all areas of the world…and everything is locally produced.

On a recent Saturday morning in the demonstration kitchen, May Yia Lee offered a cooking lesson in Hmong stir-fried kale with bacon. Along with her family Lee operates a CSA farm in Oakdale, Mhonpaj’s Garden. On the street Gorkha Palace had a booth with some of the Nepali, Indian and Tibetan dishes that they serve at their restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis. Star Prairie Trout Farm from nearby Wisconsin had smoked trout samples and information on how you can catch your own trout in their spring-fed lake. And, then there were the garlic scapes, the green part of the plant that is removed to allow the garlic bulb to develop. They look like large chives or scallions with a little bud near the end, but taste like garlic. There was also homegrown Chinese spinach, homemade chocolate candy, several bakeries, honey and cheese products, pork and salmon suppliers, a large number of produce booths, clothing, neck massages, and so much more. The market is open only on Saturday mornings during the growing season and is located across from the Guthrie Theater. They also have a website with a schedule of events.

Star Prairie Trout Farm about 10 miles east of Stillwater, Minnesota, and a few miles north of New Richmond, Wisconsin, has been raising trout since 1856 on a spring-fed lake that never freezes. Through August, the farm is open Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. for anglers who want to try their hand at trout fishing. In September it is open Saturdays and Sundays only. You don’t need a fishing license or fishing equipment. Everything is furnished including cleaning, filleting and even charcoal and a grill to cook your fish at the farm’s picnic grounds. Fees start at $6 per pound with group rates of 20 or more slightly lower. For more information go to or call Nate Wendt, Operating Manager, at 1-888-545-6808.

Mhonpaj’s Garden grows more than 30 different varieties of vegetables and sells them through local grocery stores and area Farmers’ Markets including the White Bear Farmers’ Market and the St. Paul Farmers’ Market. It was the first Hmong-owned certified organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Minnesota. Their website has additional in
formation on Hmong ingredients and cooking.

Here is just one of the recipes you will find there:

Swiss Chard

Nutrition fact: This vegetable has an astonishing amount of vitamin K – one cup cooked has 700% of your daily value.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp water

Heat a saucepan on medium heat, add olive oil, a few small slices of garlic and the crushed red pepper. Sauté 1 minute. Add the chopped Swiss chard leaves. Cover. Check after about 5 minutes. If it looks dry, add water. Flip the leaves over in the pan. Cover again. Check for doneness after another 5 minutes. Add salt and butter or soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.

Reprinted with permission from

Phyllis Louise Harris is a cookbook author, food writer and cooking teacher specializing in Asian foods. She is founder of the Asian Culinary Arts Institutes Ltd. dedicated to the preservation, understanding and enjoyment of the culinary arts of the Asia Pacific Rim. For information about ACAI’s programs call 612-813-1757 or visit the website at www.asian