Saturday, January 9, 2016

Winter Markets Add a Taste of Summer

Phyllis Louise Harris
January 9, 2016

Farmers’ Markets are not just available in the summer. Today there are so many indoor Farmers’ Markets that we can enjoy some of the best of summer and not freeze. 

Hmongtown Marketplace
One of the area’s oldest indoor (and outdoor) Asian markets at the corner of Marion and Como Avenues in St. Paul not far from the state capitol, Hmongtown Marketplace is as much a social gathering as it is a market. Created in an old lumberyard by Hmong immigrant Toua Xiong, Hmongtown Marketplace offers a wide variety of locally grown and imported produce, meat, fish, clothing, jewelry, gadgets, cooking utensils, souvenirs, and more. It also features food booths serving Hmong and other Asian dishes. One woman told me her grandmother insists on going to the market every Sunday to meet with old friends from Laos and get caught up on the gossip. One Saturday when I was there all the public announcements were in a language I could not understand, but those around me seemed to comprehend. It is truly an international market and is open every day 8:00 am to 8:00 pm with a parking lot at the door. For more information go to 

Hmong Village
In 2010 Yia Vang, a Hmong immigrant, opened Hmong Village at 1001 Johnson Parkway in St. Paul. Housed in a series of buildings the market features an indoor produce market complete with colorful hand painted wall murals of outdoor scenes that brighten even the darkest of winter days. Also featured are a wide variety of vendors and a food court. It is open 9:00 am to 8:00 pm every day with parking at the door. For more information go to 

St. Paul Winter Farmers Market
One of the area’s oldest markets stays open all year round with indoor and outdoor vendors offering locally grown food and other items. Every Saturday through early April the market is open from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm with vendors on Wall Street or inside Golden’s Deli across the street. James, jellies, pasta, strudel, honey, meats, cheeses, eggs and other locally produced items are available year ‘round. For more information go to 

Minneapolis Farmers Market
The area’s largest market offering a wide variety of locally grown and imported foods is also open year ‘round featuring non-food items in its annex. Open two Saturdays per month through April from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon check the schedule at 

Mill City Winter Farmers Market
One of my favorite markets is at the Mill City Museum next to the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis and is open inside the museum 9:00 am to 1:00 pm the second Saturday each month through April. Created especially for local producers to sell their wares, the market is often the only place to find things such as purple potatoes, chanterelle mushrooms and Chinese spinach. In season, it also offers all the goodness of locally grown and raised produce and meat along with hand made chocolates, desserts, snacks and more. Parking is on the street or in nearby ramps. For more information on the market and special events go to 

Kingfield, Linden Hills and Northeast are a few more Minneapolis winter markets. Bachman’s greenhouse at 6010 Lyndale Avenue South in Minneapolis is also the scene of Winter Farmers Markets on January 23, February 27 and March 26 from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm featuring more than 30 vendors. Parking in lots next to the building.

So now what is your excuse for staying indoors? Visit a Winter Farmers Market and enjoy all of the riches of this great land!      


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