Picture of some tulips grown by one of our farmers


By Lois Hoffbauer

DULUTH - You can gauge the passing of the seasons by shopping at the Farmers' Market in Duluth. In spring, the long, low, red building on 14th Ave. E. and 3rd St. takes on a greenhouse look. The stalls along both sides are lined with trays of pansies, petunias, perennials, and other plants. The "Market" annually opens on the Saturday before Mother's Day.

During the summer, the "Market" always seems cool because of the light breeze that gently flows through the building from the big open doors. Shoppers are clamoring to get in every Wednesday and Saturday morning at 7:00 A.M. when the doors open. The early birds want the best chance to get garden-fresh, and locally grown products at a reasonable price.

The fresh produce and other farm products like raspberries, blueberries, cut flowers, herbs, homegrown free range chicken, jams and jellies are raised in St. Louis, Carlton, and Lake Counties by the Farmers who sell them.

We spend the entire previous day picking, sorting, cleaning, and bunching the products that are for sale. The rumble of the trucks coming to the Farmers' Market can be heard as early as 6:00 a.m. We get there early to unload our trucks and arrange our products to be sold to customers.

In the fall, cool, gray, windy days take over and we bring in products like potatoes, cabbage, pumpkins and squash. Everything is in abundance. The stalls are stacked with the final harvest of the year and the market has an earthy smell. Parents bring their children to choose the "perfect" jack-o'-lantern. The "Market" closes for the year on the last Saturday in October.

The Farmers' Market has been marking the changes in seasons since 1911.

It's been standing so long, that some people think of it as a landmark. It has been at it's present location since 1953 and before that it was located between 2nd and 3rd Streets on 6th Ave. E.

The peak of the season at the Farmers' Market is usually from mid August to mid September. It is then that you will find bushels of the products that can be used for canning, freezing, pickling, or making jam. By that time of the year, most products are in season, and you will be able to find just about anything that will grow in Northern Minnesota.