Nov. 28 marks the last day of the local farmers market, hosted by the City of Moorhead. Every Tuesday from June 1 to September 28 the City of Moorhead allows vendors to sell produce and other homemade products. This seasonal event is held in the Moorhead Ace Hardware parking lot. During peak season, this space holds between 12 and 15 vendors.
These vendors include many local, vocational farmers and hobby farmers alike. Trailers full of pumpkins, gourds and other large produce can be found. Homemade jams, jellies and pickled goods are also common during the on-season for the Moorhead Farmers Market. Goods such as wire art and wooden creations are also available.
This farmers market is not only a hub for local artists and farmers to sell and distribute goods, but also a place for children to learn and experience the process of growing and selling produce. Working with the Minnesota State University Moorhead, the farmers market is included in a program called Power of Produce. This program helps incentivize children to come to farmers markets throughout the nation.
PoP supplies children with a weekly stipend of two dollars. These two dollars, in the form of a wooden token, can be spent on fresh fruits and vegetables. The vendors are then reimbursed at the end of the day.
Bailey, a distributor of these tokens said “I think PoP is really important for families, the kids get so excited.” This not only helps children get excited about produce, but also brings the community closer.
“Sometimes we get the Moorhead Library here too, so they can bring their books back,” she said. “Being able to talk to the vendors really brings the community together.”
The City of Moorhead also accepts EBT (electronic benefit transfer), through something they call the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. This is not typical of other farmers markets, even those in the nearby area.
“SNAP is put on by the USDA and Clay County Social service,” says Trevor Magnuson, the recreation coordinator for the city. “We have the capability to accept those benefits here. We also partner with Hunger Solutions of Minnesota who will match $10 worth of the EBT benefits for no cost.” This allows patrons of the market who use EBT to redeem $20 worth of market coins for the price of $10.
The farmers market is loved not just by the children and local customers, but also vendors as well. Since it started eight years ago, the vendors have created a community among themselves. Michele Gedgaud, a canine massage therapist, said her favorite part of the market was meeting new people. “All the people who come by,” she said, “they start telling stories, and we get to educate them about things. Meeting the people is just the best part.” Gedgaud owns Mutts Unleashed, a small business that supplies natural health care for pets and pet products.
The Moorhead farmers market will be up and running for its ninth year on June 1 of 2022. The market is sponsored by American Crystal Sugar Company and Lemke Home Improvements. It will be in the Moorhead Ace Hardware parking lot on the corner of Main Ave and Seventh St S.