A.L. Farmers Market to open on Wed.

Published 9:20 am Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Albert Lea Farmers Market is slated to open Wednesday for its first official day of the season.

Verlys Huntley, president of the Albert Lea Farmers Market Board of Directors, said this week at the market people can expect to find rhubarb and asparagus, plus possibly radishes, spinach, green onions and lettuce.

That’s in addition to the items available every week, such as baked goods, jams, jellies, pickles and flowers, to name a few.

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The farmers market is located in the North Broadway Avenue parking lot, next to the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center in downtown Albert Lea. It is open from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

Huntley said because of the unusually warm March, some produce is ahead of schedule, but the colder weather in April set back others.

So far, however, there have been 25 vendors who have signed up to be at the market, but she noted it is still early in the season.

One new vendor already signed up is Prairie Wind Coffee, which will be selling different blends of coffee. The coffee company is opening up a new business in the front one-third of the National Vitality Center on Broadway Avenue.

Huntley said there will also be an opportunity for home-based vendors to join in the market for the first time. These businesses will be able to participate in three of the market dates and two additional events the market is participating in downtown.

Continuing this year will be a scanning machine equipped to handle credit and debit cards, SNAP vouchers and EBT transactions.

Albert Lea Transit will also be offering free bus rides from the senior living facilities to the market, which will start in June.

There will be a new market manager.

The two larger events the market will be taking part in is the Strawberry Festival scheduled for June 30 and the Fall Festival Sept. 22.

People are encouraged to check out a publication the vendors are putting together that will talk about the market and profile new vendors.

If anybody in the area is interested in providing musical talent, they can contact Huntley at 297-5546.


When is certain produce at the market?

• Late May and early June: green onions, lettuce, spinach, radishes, asparagus and rhubarb

• June: broccoli, onions, peas and strawberries

• July: green beans, yellow beans, beets and broccoli

• Late July: may be sweet corn, cucumbers, cauliflower, eggplant, peas, sweet onions and potatoes

• Late July or early August: raspberries, tomatoes and zucchini

• August: early apples, green beans, beets, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, herbs, melons, onions, green peppers, hot peppers, potatoes, squash, zucchini and tomatoes

• September: apples, beets, cabbage, sweet corn, gourds, Indian corn, winter squash, melons, watermelons, musk melons, onions, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, fall raspberries and tomatoes

• October: apples, cabbage, Indian corn, gourds, onions, potatoes, pumpkins and winter squash