by Nancy Dashwood
HOWARD LAKE, MN Winter-weary folks awaiting fresh, sun-ripened produce are in luck: the Howard Lake Farmers Market opens for the season Thursday, June 13 from 3 to 6 p.m.
To celebrate the market’s opening day, as well as June Dairy month, the Wright County Dairy Princesses will be present, leading a variety of childrens’ activities. Visitors will be treated to live acoustic guitar music during the opening event.
The market, entering its fourth season, takes place at Howard Lake’s Lions Park, along US Hwy. 12; and is slated to run Thursdays through Sept. 26. (A market will not take place Thursday, July 4.)
A special farmers market will take place during Howard Lake’s annual Good Neighbor Days celebration. The market will be set up adjacent to the event’s craft fair, and will be open Saturday, June 22.
This year, the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (HLWW) High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) students will be on-site selling fresh produce from the garden plot they maintain at the school.
The market will also feature new vendors, including Myz Designs; The Mad Scientist & His Wife Soap; Stueven Farms; SwanBee Honey; Turning Family Farm of Cokato; artist Amanda Doster; and Tastefully Simple.
Visitors can expect fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as locally produced honey, fresh eggs, baked goods, soap, pottery, and other artisan and handmade items to be available.
Meet your neighborhood’s non-profits
The market’s manager, Howard Lake native Myra Laway, said people can expect to see some new faces during markets this season.
“This year, we have really reached out to local non-profits and organizations to host a free informational booth and kids’ activity,” she stated. “We are always seeking more groups to participate. They can share info about all the great things they do with and for the community.”
For little sprouts
During the five markets taking place in August, children may participate in the Power of Produce (PoP) Club.
Each week, children ages 4 to 12 will be eligible to receive $2 tokens, with which they can choose and purchase their own fresh fruits and vegetables.
The PoP Club is offered by the University of Minnesota’s Extension program, and has grown to be part of more than 30 farmers markets throughout the state.
Sell your stuff
People with a plethora of produce or related goods are encouraged to become vendors at the Howard Lake Farmers Market.
Vendors may sell their fresh-grown produce, as well as fresh or dried herbs and spices.
Potential sellers may also sell farmstead products such as cheese, meats (if vacuum packed), fish, poultry, eggs, baked goods, canned goods, honey, maple syrup, and preserves.
Green-thumbed flower fans are welcome to become vendors and share their bedding plants, hanging and potted plants, perennials and cut flowers, and dried flowers or plants.
Finally, craft creators can consider becoming a vendor and selling their crafts, yard supplies, animal supplies, apparel, art, and pottery.
Laway is happy for the season to begin. “There is just so much exciting news from the Howard Lake Farmers Market,” she said.
To learn more about the Howard Lake Farmers Market, CLICK HERE.