Fresh and Tasty at the St. Paul Farmers Market This Week

Tracy Morgan is a Twin Cities foodie and the owner of Segnavia Creative, a marketing services consulting company located in St. Paul, MN. I’m thrilled to have her contribute (posts and pictures) to Simple, Good, and Tasty.

The downtown weekend version of the St. Paul Farmers Market is turning out to be one of the most underrated markets in the country. In a poll conducted online by Care2 and LocalHarvest, our market is only barely hanging on to “top 100” status. And I can’t help but wonder how this could be…the turnout at the market is consistent. Hearty customers brave the chill, the rain, the heat, the humidity and – if it’s after 11am – the gut-wrenching possibility that their favorite supplier has run out of eggs. The horror! Maybe more people need to know about this fabulous market? Maybe there needs to be more attention paid to marketing its charms? Maybe I’ll get riled up enough to start a grassroots, unauthorized support group?!

radishes1If you want to support the St. Paul Farmers Market (downtown or any of them), here’s what you can do. First, go here and vote. You might even help the Farmers Market win the $5,000 prize! Second, make sure you spread the word. Grab a suburbanite friend and haul them into town for coffee and the market. Host a post-market brunch featuring the fresh and nutritious delectables you’ve uncovered. Because, believe me, your finds will not only be delicious but abundant. Time to share!

My picks this week:

  • Radishes – the nice man from Niemczyk’s Greenhouse Gardens told me that these gorgeous purple, pink and white varieties are from a slightly different seed mix called Easter Egg blend. They should taste just the same as the standard issue. A great experiment in prettiness for all of $1 per bunch.
  • Rhubarb – for $2 a bundle, I couldn’t help but think of Lee’s rhubarb margaritas and I will be experimenting with rhubarb, St. Germain liquor and a very cold glass.
  • Bibb lettuce – the smart people at Lengsfeld’s Organic Gardens have tender Boston bibb lettuce heads for $2 or peassmaller ones at $1, perfect for those of us who are buying for just one person at a time.
  • Shelled peas – I had a moral dilemma here. The peas in the shells are $4. The peas already extricated from their little pod carriers were also $4. And I’m sure you get more shelled peas than peas to shell. They could have charged more. For this week, however, these shelled peas are the best value in the market – sweet, crunchy and lovely. I’m thinking of pea and mint soup again.
  • Strawberries – yes, they round out the list again this week. But this time I jumped in with both feet. They are everything you want in a strawberry – I know this because I ate a quarter of the pint on the way home. I’m hosting a dinner party this week and these sweet beauties are going to make a lovely, simple sauce for a cheesecake. And I am going to have some happy guests. Maybe I can recruit them to my SPFM fan club…

The St. Paul Farmers’ Market has many locations throughout the week.  On the weekends it runs 6am – 1pm Saturdays and 8am – 1pm Sundays downtown St. Paul at the corner of 5th and Wall Sts.