By Cortney Mohnk
Whether you are consistently a healthy eater or just want to enjoy a seasonal treat, fresh fruit is a tasty indulgence. There can be a lot of questions about where to shop locally for fruit however. Do the farming practices used to grow this fruit protect the environment? How do I best support the local economy and Minnesota farmers? How fresh is this produce anyway? We’re here to assist with five great places to buy fruit that aren’t your run-of-the-mill, big grocer.
Riverwalk Market Fair
Bridge Square at Division Street and 4th Street
Northfield, MN 55057
In every corner of our state, you’ll be able to find a farmer’s market, teeming with freshly grown produce from local farmers, especially in the late spring, summer and early fall. Even during the winter, there are many indoor markets stocked with fresh and delicious foods. One open-air market that brings local farmers together with artisan food-makers, musicians and artists weekly June through October is the Riverwalk Market Fair in charming downtown Northfield. Depending upon the seasonal harvest and featured vendors, you can find fresh-picked rhubarb, apples, strawberries or raspberries alongside fresh fruit jams, jellies and desserts.
Pick Your Own
Afton Apple Orchard
14421 2. 90th St.
Hastings, MN 55033
Raspberries, apples and strawberries are ripe for the picking in Afton. Strawberry season typically runs mid-June to mid-July, with the best berries picked right after the 7 a.m. opening time before the arrival of the hot afternoon sun. Raspberry season begins mid-August and can last roughly two months depending when the first hard freeze hits. Red, yellow and pink raspberries are all up for grabs. Apple picking is an early fall event in and of itself, with hayrides, concession stands bearing apple treats and entertainment for the whole family.
Community Supported Agriculture
Brown Family Farm
23078 164th St.
Big Lake, MN 55309
A CSA is a farm that is supported by members of the community and is a great way to buy local produce. CSAs such as the Brown Family Farm in Big Lake typically have a variety of fresh veggies, herbs, fruits and more offered in weekly shares for their members. Fruit such as watermelon, muskmelon and strawberries are grown without herbicides or GMOs by the Browns. The farming practices are also sustainable and methods are put in place for water conservation.
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Jack Dog Farms
2213 E. 38th St. 55407
Farm stands are a popular site along Minnesota country roads, but they can also be found in the city as well. Jack Dog Farms is an urban farm in South Minneapolis that not only operates a farm stand but also provides Community Supported Agriculture shares and classes on healthy meal planning and other topics. Some of the fruit that can be found at Jack Dog’s Tuesday farm stand include melons, raspberries and strawberries. Flowers, herbs and vegetables like kale, broccoli and squash are also for sale.
La Alborada Market
1855 E. Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55407
For something out of the ordinary, check out local ethnic grocers. La Alborada is a Twin Cities’ market with Mexican roots. Here you can find unique fruits such as prickly pears, membrillo (quince) or saramuyo. Don’t forget to try out some of La Alborada’s freshly made goodies made from exotic fruits as well, including pressed juice and delicious pastries.
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