Winter farmers market growing in popularity - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Winter farmers market growing in popularity

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)- It might be 10 degrees outside, but indoors at the winter farmer's market, it is warm not only in temperature, but in feeling as everyone takes in the indoor market environment.

Packed into Building 41 at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds, the products usually seen in the summer are thriving. The indoor winter farmer's market has many of the same products you would see in a typical farmers market, but in an atypical time of year.

"Usually we get a good crowd on Saturdays in the winter time," says Pam Benike with Prairie Hollow Farms. "One of the really interesting things is that we get a different crowd than what we get at the summer market. Even though we get some of our regulars from the summer market that come through, we get a lot that come through that don't get down to the summer market. So, this is a different experience for them."

Fruits, vegetables, baked goods and other home products; all home grown and home made.

"There's a number of us that have greenhouses that we grow in all year long," explains Benike, "and so we're able to offer fresh produce that many other markets couldn't offer in the winter."

A market like this may not have as many vendors, but is just as busy and successful.

"To be able to get fresh spinach and lettuce in the middle of winter that's been grown right here, that's kind of an unusual thing, I think," says Benike. "I think it will become more common as more growers see it because now that we have a winter market, growers are looking at options, you know, 'What else can we grow?'"

Indoor winter markets are growing in popularity, and if the turnout Saturday is any indication, they will be around for years to come.

The indoor winter farmer's market will be going on at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds on Saturdays through April, so there is still plenty of time to enjoy the locally-grown produce this winter.

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