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Farmers Market News

The Carlton County Farmers Market opens Saturday, June 1 in front of Premiere Theatres in Cloquet. This season we're joined by a new generation of farmers and producers offering a wonderful variety of homegrown and handmade products.

Heidi Wanzek and Em Klein created Prairie Rose Farm and Floral in Mahtowa. They are both multitalented artists with skills ranging from welding to wedding floral design. Like the other farmers at the market, they are dedicated to regenerative agriculture and use techniques suited to their specific landscape. They practice no-till farming and grow their flowers without applying synthetic chemicals. At the market, they'll offer fresh flower bouquets, herbs and herbal body products. They're passionate about growing "beautiful blooms throughout the short but glorious growing season."

The Farmers Market offers a friendly place for young farmers and makers to meet the community. This year we are joined by Giinawiind Giginitaawigi'gomin, Together We Grow, a youth program in the American Indian Community Housing Organization. The teens grow tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, squash, blueberries and medicines such as sweet grass, sage, bee balm and yarrow. They also make products such as delicious blue corn cornmeal cookies, cedar strawberry tea, and more. For your four-legged friends, there are wild rice peanut butter pumpkin dog treats.

Kayla Jackson from Giinawiind Giginitaawigi'gomin says the project "gives urban indigenous youth a chance to learn about gardening, entrepreneurship, mentorship, business development skills, food sovereignty, community outreach and their culture. Incorporating indigenous values and practices into the program helps the youth build new skills and helps them learn how to educate the community."

Farmers don't always need acres of farmland to grow their crops. Sandra Carlson of Nutritious Blooms Microgreens raises her healthy sprouts indoors. Broccoli, sunflower, pea, spicy lettuce and "Rambo" radish greens are packed with vitamins and are delicious in salads and sandwiches. Carlson sells online and at multiple markets to sustain her business, offering delivery close to her home. Like a number of other Duluth producers, she has chosen to travel to the Cloquet Farmers Market this season to join our growing and friendly community of vendors.

Sometimes it's nice to wander through the market on a Saturday morning with a fresh cup of coffee in hand. Michelle's Lefse Food Truck will be on site many Saturdays, including opening day June 1, with coffee and lefse. You can choose from lefse on the savory or the sweet side. On her menu are turkey and cheese lefse sandwiches, and lefse with lemon mousse and blueberries.

The Carlton County Farmers Market was started by volunteers in 1983 and is still coordinated by a local team of dedicated farmers, bakers, preservers and crafters who volunteer their time.

The Cloquet Farmers Market runs from 9 a.m. to noon every Saturday in front of Premiere Theatres, 904 Highway 33 S., Cloquet. The Carlton market is open 4-6 p.m. every Tuesday in McFarland Park, at Minnesota Highway 210 and Grand Street.

Gail Olson is the Cloquet site manager for the Carlton County Farmers Market.