Monday, June 1, 2015

Get the most out of summer with Minnesota grown food and wine!

By Phyllis Louise Harris
June 2015

Finally! Snow and ice are fading memories and glorious summer is well underway. With it Farmers Markets are opening all over the state with the freshest of farm grown produce. Strawberries, asparagus, radishes, spinach, green beans and peas are the earliest choices that line the stalls of hundreds of farm to table markets throughout the region. And, they are so much fun to shop! Talk with the growers about storing and cooking their amazing food and you will learn something new each time you shop. Check on Minnesota grown meat and fish. Chat with artisans who also bring their wares to the market and sample some of the food truck and food stand specialties. (Miniature doughnuts are still a favorite!) It is like a mini-state fair every week of the summer.

Find them all in the 2015-16 Minnesota Grown Directory packed with 1027 places for home grown, home cured, home bred, home distilled everything! From asparagus to wine you will find a source close to home.

Also look for specialty sources such as the Hmong American Partnership’s Arcade featured at many church markets and the Saint Paul Farmers Market. It is a unique opportunity to meet new neighbors and enjoy their homegrown produce.

And, did you know Minnesota is home to more than 55 wineries and vineyards? Find a designated driver and plan a day trip to just a few. Start in Stillwater at the Saint Croix Vineyards then go to nearby Northern Vineyards Winery, move on to Hastings to the state’s first winery, Alexis Bailly Vineyard. Then top it off with a swing through Cannon Falls for the Cannon River Winery including a side trip to the vineyard where you can have a picnic on a hill overlooking the valley filled with vines. Great tastings, beautiful scenery and a tour that matches Napa Valley any day. And, did you know, you can help stomp the grapes in September? (Shades of “I Love Lucy.”) Check the directory for details.

For your free directory or to find homegrown resources nearest to you go to and start planning to really enjoy all the wonders of summer!


Read more about Asian food in Minnesota and try more than 160 recipes in Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875, now in bookstores and on

Buy online:  Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875

Watch the EMMY® award winning “Asian Flavors” television show based on the book on tpt MN. Check local TV listings for broadcast times or view the show streaming online at: