Farmers’ market opens today at new location

Published 6:33 am Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Austin Area Farmers Market opens for the season today.

The sales are held May through October from 4 to 6 p.m on Thursdays at a new downtown site; 9 to 11 a.m. Saturdays at Oak Park Mall, 18th Avenue Northwest; and 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays at Oak Park Mall.

There will be a few new vendors this year, said market chair Jody Maloney.

“We’ll have a couple new items, too. There will be more vegetables and one vendor will sell beaded crafts for charity, baked goods, too,” she said.

As in other years, there will be vegetables and produce, farm-fresh eggs and free-range chicken and beef at the markets.

The recent farmer-friendly weather means many items will make their seasonal debut early this year, too, Maloney said.

“The asparagus and the rhubarb is here, and some vendors have greenhouses so they already have tomatoes.”

Those headed to the market today, or any other Thursday, will need to note its new location.

Because of added vendors, the Thursday market has moved to a larger downtown site. It will operate on one block closed to vehicle traffic on First Avenue Northwest, between North Main Street and First Street Northwest. It is the block between Knauer’s Market and Hastings Shoe.

A special market kick-off for kids takes place this weekend during the first Saturday market of the year.

It will include children’s activities such as crafting T-shirt bags for free, to use for carrying goods. Mower County’s Dairy Princess also plans make an appearance and free pumpkin plants, milk, cookies and coloring sheets will be part of the event.

For more information, visit the market’s new Web sites, www.AustinAFM.org and MFMA.org/members/Austin. The Austin Area Farmers Market also has a Facebook page.

Interested vendors can contact Jody Maloney at 325-9978 or jodymaloney@yahoo.com, or Wayde Groh at 433-1822 or wgroh@charter.net.