Farmers’ Market to end successful season Dec. 20

Published 1:36 pm Saturday, December 13, 2008

Any mention of the word “market” and thoughts turn to the less than stellar year for Wall Street. Here in Austin, the market seems to be doing just fine.

The Austin Area Farmers’ Market is preparing to wrap up a successful 2008.

With a new year rapidly approaching, it is a good time to reflect on its happenings. For the Austin Farmers’ Market, the view is pretty good.

Email newsletter signup

After decades in operation, the Austin Farmers’ Market is still going strong. “There were late starts due to weather,” said Sharon Thiel, the volunteer market manager.

A late start and a little rain didn’t stop people from stopping by the market.

“We are very happy; we had our best year ever,” said John “Farmer John” Ulland, Austin Farmers’ Market vendor and president of the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association.

The 2008 season brought in many more visitors than any previous Austin Farmers’ Market.

Thiel said the draw is in the produce.

“It’s local fresh food, 2,000 miles fresher than anything you get in the grocery store,” she said.

Support for the market is more than just support for local growers, it is also support for the “Buy Mower, Grow Mower” campaign effort, Thiel pointed out.

Spring may seem a long ways away, but market organizers are already planning for the future. The organizers would like to see more vendors at each event.

To make it more accessible to both vendors and patrons, there are plans to expand to add Saturdays to the market’s calendar.

In the middle of December, images of farm-fresh vegetables and other produce are far from our minds, but a little snow on the ground and a chill in the air isn’t enough to stop the Austin Farmers’ Market.

After another successful spring and summer, the Farmers’ Market is preparing for their Holiday Market on Saturday.

The Holiday Market will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Towne Center on Main Street. It will offer seasonal fare from baked goods to deer meat, as well as jellies, lefse and more. This event will be the last market for 2008.

The Austin Farmers’ Market is one of more than 40 member markets of the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association. All products sold at the market are grown or produced by vendors from the area. Many of the products are grown chemically-free. New vendors are always welcome, and application information can be found on the Austin Farmers’ Market Web site.

For more information about the Austin Area Farmers’ Market visit For feedback and suggestions contact John Ulland at 437-2642 or Steve Otto at (507) 889-3271.