Farmers Market Week to be celebrated in Albert Lea

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Albert Lea Farmers Market is celebrating National and Minnesota Farmers Market Week with special kids activities and some sampling of locally-grown produce.

The market is open each week from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at the municipal parking lot on North Broadway and 9 a.m. to noon at the Northbridge Mall lot on Saturdays. The farmers market runs through the end of October.

The Albert Lea Farmers Market officially began in 1980 and has over 20 vendors who sell a wide variety of produce, honey, jams and jellies, salsa, pickles, baked goods, candies, eggs, crafts and much more.

Email newsletter signup

The market accepts Electronic Benefits Transfer/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and will match up to the first $10 used off a benefit card with market bucks, which means consumers can receive an additional $10 of healthy food free at each market.

The market has also had the Women, Infants and Children and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition program since 1995, which offers low-income families and senior citizens an opportunity to improve their diets with more locally-grown fruits and vegetables.

Two newer programs for children that have been popular at the Albert Lea Farmers Market are the Power of Produce program, which provides kids age 4 through 12 tokens for $2 worth of produce at each market, and the Market Sprouts program, where kids can earn market gift certificates by shopping at the market.

For more information about these programs, stop at the market information booth.

According to a press release, farmers markets play a vital role in communities, providing consumers with a link to their food source. They serve as education centers, and can teach customers about agriculture, share growing information and provide recipes and hints about how to use fresh produce. An active farmers market makes people and communities stronger and healthier.

The press release also stated that a study by the New Economics Foundation in London, found that a dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy.