Nothing beats produce fresh from the garden

Face it, we’re spoiled. Minot and nearby neighbors have not one but two well managed farmers markets to shop throughout the growing season, from the early pea harvest until the pumpkins and squash come in.

We have featured both the Oak Park and the North Prairie farmers markets many times over the years, so the word has long been out. But if you are new to Minot….ah, just wait until you sink your teeth into a summer tomato fresh off the vine.

If you are not into tomatoes, there are a lot of other vegetables that grow extremely well in this region, plus homemade goodies like jams, jellies and baked goods are to be found at our farmers markets. Get out there and explore.

There are several points to be made about farmers markets. Foremost might be that consumers today are known to harp about who it is that actually grows our food and where it comes from, how it’s grown. At a farmers market, the person manning the stand is probably the same individual who sowed the seeds and pulled and washed the beets. Want to know his or her farming practices…just ask.

That is certainly why many people flock to the markets early on a Saturday morning, or any chance during the week that they can get to a market that’s open.

As to the price of produce, that just doesn’t seem to matter to buyers when the spuds and cabbage they haul home were harvested only hours before. Fresh simply sells.

Still, the markets do have a way of keeping prices reasonable and the quality top-notch; it’s called competition. Don’t like the looks of the cucumbers at one stall or they seem priced a little too high, go to the next vendor in line.

Anybody who would dispute that prices are fair should consider how much time, work and cash inputs go into gardening for profit. And, small-time farming is just as risky as it is for the big guys who have to spend many thousands of dollars to raise and bring in a crop. Both have break-even points.

Business aside, the farmers markets have another thing going for them. They are a great place to visit with people you know or have just met.

Yes, we are a bit spoiled in Minot – but thankfully our vegetables are crisp, all summer long.