Here’s where to shop farmers markets this season

April 27, 2020

You still can shop local farmers markets, although there will be some changes this season because of COVID-19.

Falls Park Farmers Market

The largest and oldest market in the area, Falls Park Farmers Market, opens Saturday, and shoppers will find vendors spread out across the parking lot instead of under the shelter on the north side of the park.

“Every year, everyone is really excited about the farmers market coming to town,” said Nate Van Zweden, a board member for the nonprofit that organizes the seasonal market. “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback in the past month (with the new option for online ordering.) Now that the city has given us approval, we’ll be there.”

Falls Park Farmers Market opened early this year with online shopping and a drive-thru pickup for orders on Saturday mornings. That will continue along with the regular market, which is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Delivery also has been added.

“We’re very pleased with how it’s going,” Van Zweden said. “It’s growing every week. I’d say we’re over 100 orders a week.”

To also help cut down on foot traffic, organizers are encouraging families to send one person to do the shopping, he said.

“Just like any store, that’s just the recommendation. If you have to bring your children, we’re not going to turn them away. The city did say if we ended up having crowds there they do have the right to shut them down.”

The playground is closed, and no picnic tables are set up. There won’t be live music, but that could change as the summer progresses.

“We encourage people to shop but keep the groups down,” Van Zweden said. “If you’re lingering looking at flowers, try not to be too close to people. We’ll try to mark that out to give people an idea of what 6 feet looks like. … We don’t want to be the TSA and have uniformed ‘distance officers,’ but just treat each other with respect. My level of concern might be different than yours, so just default to a level of concern.”

At least two vendors have dropped out of the market because of COVID-19, but they’re hoping to come back next year, Van Zweden said.

There are 27 vendors, including several new ones, for the market that operates through October. Produce offerings will expand as the season progresses, but for now there will be leafy greens, winter potatoes, radishes and possibly asparagus, he said. Bedding plants, vegetables and herbs will be available for those who want to start their own gardens.

Here’s a look at the newcomers:

  • Craizy Daisy’s Popcorn of Yankton will sell Craizy Corn, which is its version of kettlecorn, gourmet popcorn, movie theater-style popcorn, flavored nuts and chocolates.
  • Mary’s Kitchen and Gardens of rural Beresford sells fresh and canned produce and baked goods. Fresh produce this week will include green onions, potatoes, eggs and possibly asparagus. Later-season offerings will include tomatoes, sweet corn, new potatoes and squash.
  • Songbird Kombucha.
  • Parable Coffee Co. will sell bags of its small-batch roasted beans.
  • Prairie Confections offers “edible art” created by pastry chef Keyes Clemmer, who owned a bakery in New York City and later an edible art business in Indianapolis. Clemmer will sell push-pop cupcakes and Prairie Cookies, which are a cross between sugar and butter cookies with a choice of frosting. She also makes cocoa cookie cups that can be filled with milk.

Shoppers will find coffee and hot chocolate from Cherrybean, hamburgers and breakfast sandwiches from Orange Creek Farms and wood-fired pizzas from Skipping Stone Pizza, which also is offering take-and-bake versions this year.

Look’s Marketplace

On the south side of Sioux Falls, Look’s Marketplace plans to have a farmers market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings at its new home once the uncertainty of COVID-19 dissipates. Until then, local produce and fresh flowers will be sold inside the marketplace, including goods from Iott’s Greenhouse & Gardens of Ward, which was part of the Callaway’s Farmers Market at the site on East 69th Street next to Prairie Green Golf Course.

“Our goal is to eventually have a full-time farmers market out here in the nicer months,” co-owner Beau Vondra said. “That was always part of the plan. … We’re planning on making it a very fun atmosphere and exciting for people to come out when we have the ability to. Right now, we can’t.”

Lake Lorraine

On the west side of Sioux Falls, the weekly farmers market at Lake Lorraine will return for its second year. It’s expected to open in June and will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, said Amy Smolik, community director for the development between Marion Road and Interstate 29 south of 26th Street.

“We were thrilled with the variety of vendors and support from our Lake Lorraine business community and the west-side neighborhoods in our inaugural year,” Smolik said. “As the only farmers market located on the west side of Sioux Falls, we feel we’re serving a need while adding to the options in the Sioux Falls area for vendors to connect with customers and vice versa.”

Interested vendors can find rules and an application at later this week, she said.

“We are paying attention to how other markets in the area and across the state are operating during this time to ensure vendors and customers feel safe and are following CDC guidelines,” Smolik said.

Pettigrew Central Market

One farmers market isn’t returning this summer. Sioux Falls Food Co+op won’t be offering the Pettigrew Central Market this year because of the grocery store’s expansion project and COVID-19 concerns, said Darin Vos, the co-op’s new marketing coordinator.

Several towns in the Sioux Falls area will have markets again this year.

Downtown Hartford Market

The Downtown Hartford Market is moving to the first Thursday of the month rather than the last and will start in June, said Callie Tuschen, vice president of Downtown Hartford Inc.

“We are still in our planning phase, and with the state of things, we are a little uncertain about how things will go,” she said.

Last summer, the organization revitalized the Hartford Farmer’s Market, which had dwindled for various reasons over time. The new market features vendors selling produce, baked goods and handmade items. There will be activities for kids, entertainment and food vendors, and shoppers are allowed to buy an alcoholic beverage from nearby businesses and enjoy it while browsing, Tuschen said.

Hours will be 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Brandon Farmers Market

The Brandon Farmers Market is working with the city on plans to operate this year, said organizer Julie Lanoue of Lanoue Gardens of Garretson.

The hope is to start June 6 with sales from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday and expand to Thursday night markets in July and August. The dozen or so vendors will be set up in the parking lot of the retail center that includes King Bird Coffee and Beautique.

“We hope to add food trucks and music,” Lanoue said. “Our other vendors are a variety of produce, baked goods, bath products, local honey and local meats.”

Dell Rapids Farmers Market

The Dell Rapids Farmers Market will be open on five Saturdays from late July through late September in a new location. The growing market is moving from Kuper’s Garden to the city park, said Jennifer Mason, who organizes the events with her sister, Katy Hendrickson.

It will be from 9 a.m. to noon July 25, Aug. 8 and 22, and Sept. 12 and 26.

Almost 20 vendors offer produce, baked goods and crafts. Cricket’s Catering sells out of breakfast burritos every time, and shoppers can enjoy cupcakes, lemonade and more. “You’ll never go hungry,” Mason said.

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Here’s where to shop farmers markets this season

You still can shop local farmers markets, although there will be some changes this season because of COVID-19.

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