Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Delano farmers’ market returns for another year of fresh produce
May 31, 2010

By Julie Krienke
Staff Intern

DELANO, MN – Kettle corn, fresh salsa, and homemade pies are just a few of the many items that can be found at Delano’s annual farmers’ market this year.

The sale is every Wednesday from 2 to 6 p.m. in front of Flippin Bill’s along Highway 12. Buyers can purchase some of the freshest produce in Wright County from May until October.

Deb Hoen, the market manager, expressed her excitement at an array of new items this year. Community members and communters can find several tents along the highway that are run by different businesses.

Salsa, honey, jam, and organic produce are just a few of the many new products that have been made available by the farmers at the market this season.

Perhaps one of the most popular stands, because of its intriguing smell, is Poppin’ Bear’s Kettle Corn tent, which is run by Michael and Don Meyer of Golden Valley. This particular vendor makes all of their kettle corn in front of the customers’ eyes.

Returning for their second year at the farmers’ market, the Meyers said that they have made up to 100 pounds of kettle corn in one day. The two clearly enjoy participating in local farmers’ markets as they have labeled themselves with “Spidie” and the “Bear” nametags.

“We try to lure commuters with snacks,” Don joked. However, the kettle corn business is only a side job for the couple. Don is an artist, while her husband is a music industry executive.

According to the Meyers, working at farmers’ markets is exciting. They also make kettle corn for fundraisers and have helped many local youth groups raise money. Five percent of their profits go to Partners in Giving, which is a Minneapolis charity program.

Once one is full of kettle corn, they can move on to find an array of organic produce. Jeanne and Steve Stortz recently began growing organic products on a large scale, and now they have stands at local farmers’ markets.

According to Steve, the couple has always been intrigued by organic produce, but they just started growing products to sell at markets.

Hartland Farm, which is where they do all of their growing, is located west of Delano. An art studio is also on the farm, Stortz Art, run by Jeanne Stortz.

The Stortz couple offers shoppers at the local farmers’ market organic fruits and vegetables. Their new product this season is the sweet tango apple.

Other popular organic products include asparagus, plums and free-range eggs. Steve explained that he has recently gathered 2,300 asparagus plants, 200 apple trees, and 100 plum trees from his farm for harvesting.

Their next project will be to introduce grass-fed lambs in the spring. The couple takes pride in their ability to offer produce free from pesticides.

Spices and sauces are among some of the most popular products at the farmers’ market this year. Brenda Snell is offering products from her business in Corcoran.

Homemade barbeque sauce is perhaps one of the most desired products from this vendor. New to the stand this season is Northwoods Hickory sauce and all-natural ketchup.

This is Snell’s second year at the Delano farmers’ market, and it is one of the nine farmers markets’ that she attends. All of the sauces sold by Snell come from 4-Alarm Bar and Grill in Rockford, which recently closed.

Snell said she enjoys how the farmers’ market offers a place for her to sell the products that were used in the restaurant. The sauces are sold for roughly $5 a jar.

“My favorite part is, honestly, meeting new people,” Snell said.

Hoen explained that, each year, the farmers market has free booths available for non-profit groups. This year, Debbie Dotson and Tara Merritt can be found raising money for their Relay for Life team called For the Future.

The money raised from their homemade salsa, earrings, and blankets is used for cancer research. According to the teammates, Delano has been hosting a Relay for Life for about six years, but this will be their first year attending the event.

Great Harvest Bread Company’s stand at the farmers’ market can almost always be found with a steady amount of customers.

This vendor is based in Minnetonka and participates in many local farmers’ markets. Customers enjoy the fresh bread, cookies, and honey that this business offers.

These are only a few of the many vendors that can be found at Delano’s farmers market this year. According to Hoen, more businesses will be offering products as the season progresses.

Hoen hopes that community members become aware of the array of products that are available at Delano’s farmers’ market. Her tent is loaded with home-baked pies as well as jars of homemade jam. Many vendors also offer samples of their products to customers.

Fresh-cut flowers and garden art are available at the market for those planting their summer gardens.

Gluten-free pasta, fresh eggs, and maple syrup are some of the new items this season. Venders at the market are also offering hand-sewn market bags and other homemade goods this year.

According to Hoen, the market will offer a full line of produce and organic produce. Seasonal fruit will be made available to community members throughout the growing season.

There is no doubt that the Delano farmers’ market has items available for all individuals during the coming months.

With summer comes warm weather, and with warm weather comes fresh produce. If you want nutritious and tasty food for your family this summer, stop by the Delano farmers’ market and check out what they have to offer. Enjoy the company of other community members, the warm weather, and the benefits of fresh produce.

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