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WCCO Viewers’ Choice For Best Farmers Market: St. Paul

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(credit: CBS) Matt Brickman
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — WCCO viewers picked their favorite farmers market in the state and the winner just happened to be the location that Zagat named as one of the eight must-visit farmers markets in the county.

It’s the St. Paul Farmers Market, a market celebrating 160 years in the making.

This is what sets St. Paul apart is the freshness of its products.

“I like that the St. Paul farmers market really focuses on the farmer part of the market,” Bonnie Reyes said.

Everything’s been grown within 60 miles.

“It’s like buying from your neighbor,” market manager Jack Gerten said. “A lot of these people have bought, and this is the second generation. Their parents will say, you buy from this grower and that grower, because I bought from them for 20 years.”

One of those families is the Xiongs.

They live and farm in Dakota County and are now on their third generation at market.

“My mom and dad probably have about 10 acres of just flowers — all different types of flowers, different colors,” Kevin Xiong said.

You can bet if they were imported, you wouldn’t get a bouquet for just $6.

“I love that it’s fresh local food for incredible values,” Reyes said. “I can’t even believe how low the prices are sometimes.”

Reyes makes a point to visit the market just about every weekend.

“My husband and I have actually been talking about maybe we should move to a quieter part of St. Paul, but the fact that I live so close to the farmers market is kinda holding us back,” she said.

In addition to carrots and kale, Reyes attends for other reasons.

“Sometimes I just go for therapy,” she said. “I’ll just walk around the farmers market to see the colors and smell the smells, and hear the kids. I love it.”

St. Paul’s main market is on Wall Street between Fourth and Fifth streets in downtown St. Paul on Saturday and Sundays.

There are also 20 satellite markets around the suburbs.

Next week, help Matt Brickman find the best food on a stick at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Tweet at him or email him.

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