Yesterday was a beautiful day, so with an empty refrigerator and some hours of free time, I knew I’d need to head out for supplies. What great serendipity when, while browsing Twitter, I read, courtesy of the U of M’s Library, about a new farmer’s market in town starting that very morning at my old alma mater, the University of Minnesota. I made up an ingredient list and wasted no time in biking over.
After all, I need little reason to hang out around the U of M and feel nostalgic. The market was held at the Gateway Plaza, under the shadow of the McNamara Alumni Center (you know, that strange, geometric building near Stadium Village- always thought it looked kind of like a giant twenty sider). Some seven or eight local farmers set up tables on the plaza, selling their produce, including the U’s own organic Cornercopia student-managed farm. There was quite a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables to choose from; I picked up some blueberries, rhubarb, beets, potatoes, green onions, garlic, zucchini, peppers, basil, cilantro and kohlrabi (needed to try out something new). I also saw turnips, lots of greens, strawberries and raspberries, ands sweet onions for sale. Along with the produce, there were also food trucks and food offered by the University Dining Services; that does not sound that promising, but my lunch was actually quite delicious- a roasted vegetable skewer lavash along with a cup of basil ginger lemonade.
As students, faculty, and just community members filled up their canvas bags with vegetables, had lunch, or spoke to one of the University and regional institutions set up, we were treated to live music by local Minneapolis band Sister Species. I’ve always enjoyed bands made up of siblings that have accordions, so they added a lot of cool ambiance to the market and I’m definitely checking out their music.
Upon arriving home, I threw together the zucchini, green onions, basil, and cilantro into a delicious cheesy rice hotdish from the MHS cookbook, Hot Dish Heaven. One of my favorite summer comfort food recipes. I’ll have enough to try out a few more recipes as well this week.
Looks like the market will be held every Wednesday for the rest of the summer, from 11 to 2. Another great place to buy some local wares in a metro full of farmer’s markets. I biked over, used the plentiful bike racks in the area, but there is plenty of car parking at the nearby ramp for a cost of three bucks. It’s a short walk over from the nearby Green Line East Bank Station, so that’d be a good choice, too.
McNamara Alumni Center, 200 SE Oak St, MPLS