Winter is all about the comfort food. It’s the time when you want to indulge in rich desserts and heavy, warm dishes. But in between the chilis, cheesy soups, and pies, you might actually start to crave something a little more fresh (hey, it could happen). Luckily for us, even though the ground is frozen and covered with a layer of snow, you can still find plenty of fresh produce and vegetables at winter farmers markets all throughout the cities.
The winter farmers markets make it easy to still eat healthfully all throughout the year. The markets make the move indoors so you can stay warm and toasty inside while still shopping for your favorite quality local produce and goods.
Seasonal Winter Produce
So, what is actually in season here in the tundra?
Here are fresh seasonal foods to look for during these frigid, winter months: cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, acorn squash, butternut squash, kabocha squash, delicata squash, golden squash, potatoes, onions, beets, root veggies, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, sweet potatoes, and garlic.
Winter Farmers Markets
You can still shop for your favorite organic and fresh produce as the Mill City Farmers Market moves their market inside the Mill City Museum. Peruse over 40 local vendors selling everything from winter produce and packaged goods to handmade gifts and artisan meals. You’ll also find artisan cheeses, eggs, fish, meat, dried beans, pasta, fresh bread, pickled vegetables, seasonal jams and so much more.
And while you’re here for your weekly groceries, be sure to stock up for the holidays at their Thanksgiving Harvest Market on Saturday, November 17 where Mill City will be gearing up for the best food day of the year with fresh sweet potatoes, pumpkins, squash, bread, salad greens, meat and eggs as well as specialty hostess gifts for Turkey Day.
Winter market hours are from 10am–1pm.
Thanksgiving Harvest Market: November 17
Holiday Markets: December 1, 8 & 15
January 12 & 26, February 9 & 23, March 9 & 23, and April 13 & 27
The St. Paul Farmers Market heads indoors to Market House (a collaborative indoor market space which is also home to OCTO fishbar, Salty Tart Bakery, Peterson Craftsman Meats, Almanac Fish by The Fish Guys, and Birches Lowertown Tap Room and Barrel House) where you’ll find countless local vendors offering a huge variety of goods including veggies, apples, mushrooms, meats, eggs, dairy, baked goods, honey, jellies and jams, chocolates, maple syrup, spices, sauces, and ready to eat treats. And if you can brave the cold, make your way across the street where vendors will also be setting up shop outdoors selling more specialty goods and artisan foods.
Winter market hours are from 9am–1pm.
Every Saturday beginning December 1 through April 20.
New this year, the Union Depot is holding its first annual indoor winter farmers market. This will be the only market in St. Paul held during midweek making it easier to avoid the crowds and get your shopping done before the weekend comes. The market offers fresh produce and goods from local vendors and farmers which include apples and root veggies, baked goods, honey, spices, sauces, jellies and jams, pickled veggies, meats, and chocolates. You’ll also find other specialty items as well as hot foods ready to go so you’ll have something to snack on as you check out all the vendors.
Winter market hours are from 10am–1:30pm
Every Wednesday beginning November 7 through December 19.
Bachman’s Winter Farmers Market
The St. Paul Farmers Market is on the move and taking its vendors across the metro setting up at different Bachman’s around the cities making it even more convenient for you to get your fresh veggies and produce. A myriad of vendors will be selling the usual goods and fresh produce in Bachman’s greenhouses in Fridley, Apple Valley, Plymouth, and Maplewood. The St. Paul Farmers Market will be heading out to these Bachman’s greenhouse locations throughout the winter months so you won’t have to travel all the way to St. Paul for quality and local produce.
Winter market hours are from 9am–1:30pm.
Apple Valley: January 12 & 26, February 9 & 23, March 9 & 23
Maplewood: January 5, February 2, March 2
Fridley: January 19, February 16, March 16
Plymouth: November 10, January 12, February 9, March 9
Dubbed the “Frost Free Market” the Northeast Farmers Market is opening their winter market beginning this November and providing us with a one-stop shop for all our holiday and produce needs. You’ll be able to browse over 35 local vendors that include Minnesota makers and artisans offering products such as baked goods, produce, veggies, handcrafted gifts, breads, syrups, honey, local beer, and so much more. There will be music and kids activities as well as a Bloody Mary bar and catered food by Chowgirls serving up egg and bacon croissant breakfast sandwiches, chicken tinga tacos, vegetarian tacos, and chia pudding.
Winter market hours are from 10am–2pm.
November 18, December 16, January 20, February 17, and March 17
For another local, fresh shopping option this winter, read this article next: Keg and Case Market secures St. Paul’s spot as true food city