Farmers' market season begins in Cottage Grove
The vendor spaces are set, the live music is cued and the organizers are ready.
Now if the weather will cooperate and spark a bountiful summer growing season.
The weekly farmers' market at Cottage Grove United Church of Christ opened for the season Thursday, June 13, offering residents fresh produce, breads, jams, honey, candles, flowers and other items.
In its seventh year, the market at Lamar Avenue and 70th Street in Old Cottage Grove is expecting more than 20 vendors each week this summer. Organizers have added live entertainment and each week will spotlight one of the vendors on the market website, manager Kim Heilmann.
The market has expanded its hours this year as well. It's opening an hour earlier, at 2:30 p.m. Heilmann said that is a response to the crowds that would show up early in years past.
Construction and a detour on 70th Street west of the church has made access a bit trickier than in the past, but Heilmann said the market still attracts shoppers from the southeast metro and St. Croix Valley because it's the only market open in the area on Thursday afternoons.
"We're here and that's what's important," she said, adding: "It's a good location, despite the construction."
Produce options were slim the first week due to the early growing season's unusual weather, but the market is planning to have more vegetable and fruit vendors than in previous years.
In addition to the vendors' food and wares, the church sells baked goods, hot dogs, brats, chips, soda and ice cream. A portion of the proceeds go to Heifer International, an organization providing farm animals to fight global hunger and poverty. Some proceeds also go to the church.
The market will be open from 2:30-6:30 p.m. every Wednesday through Oct. 10. For more information, call 651-459-1501 or go to the website at www.cguccfarmersmarket.org.