Planning begins for 11th season of food and fun
With snow blowing over the parking lot at the Maple Grove Community Center, Farmers Market organizers and growers alike are snug inside planning for the upcoming season Vendor applications are available for the 2014 season at www.maplegrovefarmersmarket.com.
“Many vendors return to our Market year after year,” said Market Manager Kirsten Bansen Weigle. “We also add new vendors each year to keep the market fresh and expand our offerings. We want to be a one-stop grocery shop, enabling residents to purchase all of their foods from local vendors during the summer and fall.”
According to Weigle, the Maple Grove Farmers Market attracted nearly 50,000 shoppers of all ages during the 2013 season.
The market is particularly seeking vendors who offer the following products: vendor-grown fruits and berries, goat and/or sheep cheese, cultivated mushrooms, USDA-Certified Organic items, turkey products, milled flours, grains, fermented foods, non-cheese dairy products (butter, yogurt, milk), and pedal-powered smoothies. Food-related licensing is required as outlined in market guidelines and enforced by Hennepin County. The market is not in need of produce vendors and does not accept vendors who sell crafted items or merchandise.
All products at the Maple Grove Farmers Market must be vendor-grown or vendor-made. Specialty products or items not grown in Minnesota, such as coffee, are also considered on a case-by-case basis if the vendor has a direct relationship with the grower or producer of that item. Each application in reviewed carefully to ensure that items to be sold fit with the market’s guidelines and needs. Complete market guidelines and fee information are available on the market’s website.
Market organizers are also reaching out to area businesses with resources and programming to improve employee wellness. “Eighty-three percent of our shoppers tell us that they eat more fresh fruits and vegetables because of their visits to the Maple Grove Farmers Market,” said Weigle. “We want area businesses to rely on us for the recipes, incentives, and information to make their employee wellness programs more successful.”
The Market attracted over 45 vendors over the course of the 2013 season. The largest and longest-running market in the northwest metro area, the Maple Grove Farmers Market is planning an indoor Spring Preview event Thursday, May 8, and will open outdoors for the season on Thursday, June 13, at the Maple Grove Community Center.
For more information about the market, visit: www.maplegrovefarmersmarket.com. Follow the market at www.facebook/maplegrovefarmersmarket to learn more about eating local, whole foods and supporting local growers.