HOWARD LAKE, MN The Howard Lake Farmers Market resembles a hearty tomato plant in the Minnesota sunshine: it is vibrant, packed with nutrition, and beautiful to behold.
Howard Lake’s farmers market is sponsored by the Howard Lake Chamber of Commerce. The market is open the first and third Saturdays of each month, from June through September, and is located in the city’s Memorial Park. The market is open from 8 am to noon.
The market’s coordinator is Myra Laway. “I was wanting an outlet for fresh and local produce,” she recently said. “Along with that came an outlet for my own passion, canning, preserves and baked goods.”
All of Laway’s ideas came to fruition when the Howard Lake Farmers Market opened for business in 2016.
Items for sale at the market do change as the growing season progresses, and as more artisans jump on board to show off their wares.
Typically, the Howard Lake Farmers Market offers selections of garden-fresh produce, jams, BBQ sauce, honey, specialty breads, baked goods, farm fresh eggs, fudge and cupcakes, local artists’ paintings, soaps, wood working, fishing lures, and jewelry.
Different produce comes into the market as the growing season moves along, and so do new and natural products. Free popcorn and coffee are part of the deal, as well.
Presently, the season is ripe to receive the local harvest of sweet corn, cucumbers and zucchini.
The Power of Produce Club was also started this season. It is a farmers market incentive program for children, offered at farmers markets throughout the nation. Each week, children ages 4 to 12 receive a $2 token to spend on their choice of fresh fruits or vegetables.
The intent of the POP Club is to engage young people, and assist them in discovering good food choices for themselves.
The market always welcomes new vendors. Laway indicated there is a nominal fee for vendor participation, but it goes down dramatically the more markets the vendor attends.
“There is a fee of $15 for the first market,” she said, “or a break for multiple markets at $55 to attend four markets, or $100 to attend all nine markets in the season.”
The rules for inventory aren’t very hard. “We accept all produce vendors, along with homemade and handmade items from crafters and artisans,” Laway said. “Direct sales are also welcome.”
For more information about becoming a vendor, see the Howard Lake Farmers Market Facebook page.
The next Howard Lake Farmers Market will take place Saturday, Aug. 19 from 8 a.m. to noon, at Memorial Park.