Farmers’ Market will be open Saturdays

Published 10:23 am Thursday, April 16, 2009

The results of a survey taken at the Mower County Fair in August showed a majority of the respondents requesting a Saturday morning Austin Farmers’ Market in addition to the regular Monday and Thursday markets.

To answer the request of local shoppers, Austin Area Farmers’ Market organizers will add a Saturday market from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Oak Park Mall area, directly across the street from Wal-Mart. The opening is scheduled for May 30 and it will continue until the end of October.

The addition of another market day will also provide opportunities for new vendors. Three new vendors have consented to join, but more are welcome to participate. Some of the new offerings will be hydroponic strawberries and local peaches grown in a high tunnel.

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The Austin Area Farmers’ Market is a “producer only” market. This means that everything is grown, crafted or made by the vendors. The market vendors are not only farmers bringing fruits and vegetables, but also vendors bringing honey, jams and jellies, eggs, meat and poultry, bedding plants, cut flowers, gladiolas, artisan craft items and a large variety of baked goods.

Anyone interested in joining the market should visit the “Kids’ Day at the Farmers’ Market” on Saturday at the center court of the Oak Park Mall from 10 a.m. to noon.

Children from the area will be able to meet the vendors and learn about planting seeds, growing flowers, how honey is made and play gardening games led by Mower County 4-H members under the direction of Ruth Neil of the University of Minnesota’s Extension Service. In addition, Jen Haugen, a Hy-Vee dietician, will demonstrate healthy choices for healthy children with “Taste the Rainbow.” Patty Ulland will read “Eat the Alphabet,” and the Mower County Dairy Association and the Dairy Princess will offer free milk to go with homemade cookies from the vendors. There will be prizes and free seeds as well.

The market season opens with the Main Street market on Thursday, May 21, from 4 to 6 p.m. The Monday market begins June 1 at the Oak Park Mall from 4 to 6 p.m. More can be learned by visiting the Web site,, or by calling Steve Otto at (507) 889-3271.