Finland Farmers Market Summer 2023 Recap

by Kyle Flack, Finland Farmers Market Coordinator

The Summer Farmers Market this year was a great success for everyone involved. A variety of wonderful vendors were here each weekFarmers Market vendor offering their delicious products for sale at a great price. But that’s just one aspect of our amazing market. Many customers are drawn to the market because of one or more of our food programs. Our patrons are also treated to live music while they shop from one of many of our very talented local musicians. In addition, we have food demonstrations that feature locally sourced food with recipes and free samples.

This year our attendance numbers were well over 1300 for the season. Many of those were people taking advantage of some of our programs that are offered at the market. There were over 100 SNAP/EBT purchases this summer that totaled over $1,100. Those that spent over $10 on a SNAP purchase received an extra $20 to spend on food at the market through the Hunger Solutions program. That means we were able to give out an extra $2,000 to those customers.

Farmers market kidWe also were able to continue our Power of Local program this summer in which youth and seniors receive $4 each market to spend at the vendor of their choice. We had over 250 Power of Local disbursements throughout the summer, totaling over $1,000. The kids really love this program… it gives them the opportunity to make their own decisions on what healthy snack they would like to spend their money on.

Also, this year the Finland Farmers market helped to get the S/FMNP program started here in Lake County. This program distributed $30 to seniors and WIC recipients to be spent on fresh produce at farmers markets. All of these programs not only help people get the best bang for their food bucks, but also help bring in new money to our local economy.

There were many compliments this year regarding our musical lineup. It really can’t be overstated just how great it is to enjoy live music from truly talented artists. Many people stick around the entire market just for the free show. And what a show it is! Whether you like country, classic rock, folk, or even genres that defy definition, our musicians leave no room for disappointment. Special thanks to artists Katee Ristuccia, Robin Sunquiet, Jeffrey Mitchell, Steven Solkela, Paul Deaner, Slim Stone, Riley Coyote, H Casper, AbbyZak, and Austin Englehardt for the awesome entertainment over the summer season!farmers market vendors

Our food education demos are always a delight. Not only can you learn a new recipe and see first hand how it’s made, but you also get a free sample or two so you can try it for yourself before embarking on a new culinary adventure. Some delicious examples of this year’s food demos include rhubarb salsa, chanterelle mushroom dip, homemade pasta, vegan pancakes, microgreens, coleslaw, and of course, fresh-pressed apple cider. There was also a demo by our Finland Wild Rice House on how to make your own pole and knockers for harvesting rice yourself.

Another fun thing we did this year was a free raffle drawing at every summer market for one of our Finland Farmers Market t-shirts and tote bags. Folks really seemed to like this new addition to the market!

Thank you to everyone for making our market such a wonderful place to be! We hope to see you at the upcoming winter markets! Thanks especially to our 2023 sponsors, Lovin’ Lake County and the North Shore Federal Credit Union, as well as past sponsors North Shore Age to Age and the Organic Consumers Association. 

farmers market vendorSAVE THE DATES! The Finland Farmers Market Winter Markets will be held indoors at the Clair Nelson Center on the third Sunday of November and December from 12:30-2:00 pm. These markets are a great way to get out of the cold and do some much needed winter socializing, so come join the fun!Winter market poster 2023-2024

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