There’s no need to wait for summer with the Finland Farmers’ Market. From November to April, a Winter or Spring Market is held monthly.
The market was first organized in 2014 by Marc Smith and a small number of vendors with grant funding by the Lloyd K. Johnson foundation.
The Winter and Spring Markets meet indoors at the Clair Nelson Center. Fresh, warm pasties are available to purchase, as well as fresh produce, canned and baked goods, and other homemade items. On March 26th, live music was provided by Robin Sunquiet. A seed swap and share table was at the entrance, encouraging market goers to share extra seeds and take some starter seeds for their gardens.
One booth sold microgreens, which are young vegetable greens in between the sprouts and baby leaf stage. Microgreens have a condensed nutrient content and unique flavor. Endless Summer Farms, LLC, sold fresh and local lettuce, the green leaves a welcome variety here at the end of winter. Finnskogen Farm sold a variety of sourdough breads, ranging from cranberry wild rice to caraway rye. They also had mustard, free-range eggs, and squash.
Luna and Bella’s Boutique, which sells homemade dog accessories, is a small business owned by local teen Ansley Fleming. She named the boutique after her two dogs, whom she likes to “dress up” in different scarves and put bows in their fur. Fleming thinks that all dogs should have their own special scarf. She’s hoping to offer homemade dog treats in the future. March 26th was the first farmers’ market for Luna and Bella’s Boutique. Fleming reports that she “had a lot of fun” and is “looking forward to future events.”
Elizabeth Fagerland, a high school senior, sells various desserts at the farmers’ market. She says, “I enjoy the atmosphere the market has, it is laid-back and it’s fun to see the community come to this event.”
The Finland Farmers’ Market is trying to regularly feature live music, food demonstrations, and educational presentations to make it more interesting for customers. There are some incentive programs offered as well, including SNAP/EBT and a program for children and older adults called Power of Local.
Vendors are welcome to just come and check in with market coordinator Kyle Flack. A basic application is needed for new vendors, and the first week is free for new vendors, followed by $5/week for a vendor space after that. For the summer market, there is a flat $50 rate for the entire summer. The vendor’s statement reads, “The Finland Farmers Market mission is to provide a market for local food producers to connect with consumers. The focus is specifically food and consumable goods including Products of the Farm and Cottage Foods. Other items may not be more than 30% of a vendor’s products and should be made up of at least 50% home grown or locally sourced materials.” More handmade crafts have been allowed during the winter markets, a “nice enhancement.”
Check out the Finland Farmers’ Market on April 23rd from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and starting in June every Thursday evening from 5:00-6:30 p.m. Director of Friends of Finland and original market vendor Honor Schauland says, “A lot of people have put in work over the years to contribute to its success. We’re really proud of what it has grown into and that it continues to grow.”