2022 Summer Farmers Market Wrap-Up

It was another incredible summer season for the Finland Farmers Market.  This summer it became very apparent that the market is growing and reaching more and more people in the area!  We had record attendance this year. After crunching some numbers, it’s been determined that over 1600 people came and enjoyed music and food here at the Clair Nelson Center over the summer.

Many of those people took advantage of the “triple your money up to $10” SNAP benefits that were available to spend with local producers thanks to the GUSNIP grant that made those funds possible throughout the whole state of Minnesota.  This year over $1,625.00 was spent in EBT at the market, and with some of that being tripled with produce and market bucks, that means over $2,200 extra was given out to SNAP customers to spend with local farmers! What an awesome program!

A record number of people also took advantage of the Age to Age sponsored Power of Locals program, which gives kids ages 3-15 and seniors 65+ $4.00 in market money every week.  This summer 67 individuals both young and old participated in the program.  The Market was able to distribute over $1,000 to these community members to spend on whatever they choose.  It is such a great program! The kids get a big kick out of “free money,” and being able to make purchases and decisions for themselves about what they would like to buy.  This program, as well as the SNAP benefits will continue through the winter and summer markets to come.  Come on down, bring your parents, the kids, bring the dog!

This season we were lucky enough to have many talented musicians come and share their gift of music with the community, including 2 different one-man bands.  One with a banjo, one with an accordion.  There were country tunes, originals, popular covers, old time music and even a pickup truck opera!

Farmers Market attendees enjoyed a variety of amazing local food samples from the educational demos hosted by a handful of guests.  There was a wild mushroom demo, rhubarb salsa that was shared and sampled, wild rice, pickle recipes, and Fuzzy even brought out the cider press and pressed both apple and pear ciders on site!

A big thank you to all our vendors and supporters that came out to supply and purchase delicious locally sourced food and sustain our local farms this season!  The Finland Farmers Market will also be happening throughout this winter.

Come on down to the Clair Nelson Center the third Sunday in the months of November, December and January from 11:30am-1pm. Mark your calendars for November 20th, December 18th, and January 15th to get your fresh local ingredients to share with friends and family for the upcoming holidays.  You will find fresh baked sourdough, pickled

canned food, eggs, rice, winter produce and more! These markets will be indoors, and will also be open to local makers/crafters to sell their wares. (No multi-level-sales, or re-sale products, please.  We want to feature products that are locally made, and if possible, locally sourced; i.e. handmade soap, knit/crocheted washcloths, hand-made art, homespun yarn).  It will be a good place to also find gifts for loved ones this holiday season.  Stay tuned for more winter/spring market dates to come!  Thanks for caring about this oh-so-special community’s health and wellness and supporting the vision of local food projects and a more sustainable future.

Also I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for inviting me in and letting me be a part of the incredible Finland Food Chain’s team of people and the opportunity to work with and get to know all of you that come out to the market.  I will be stepping back in my role of Farmers Market Coordinator and passing the torch to our new Coordinator Kyle Flack.  But don’t worry! I’m not going anywhere! I will still be part of the Food Chain and the community of Finland’s dreams for the future! I love this place and all of you.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.  It sure was a lot of fun.

– Katee Ristuccia

Leave a Comment