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Nisswa Farmers' Market offers variety

Eloise Thorson, pictured with the Thorson's Farm Fresh Produce stand at the Nisswa Farmer's Market. The produce is available every Tuesday throughout the growing season in the Nisswa Legion parking lot. Photo by Sarah Rudlang

Whether you are health conscious, stocking up to host friends and relatives at the cabin this weekend or just interested in the locals, checking out area farmers' markets are a great gateway to natural, Minnesota grown or made products.

Thorson's Farm Fresh Produce is one of the popular vendors that appears in many of the local farmer's markets. With a permanent location in Long Prairie, Thorson's also makes appearances at about 12 markets each week, including the market in Nisswa.

The Nisswa farmers' market provides locally grown produce that cannot be found in the typical grocery store. With 23 vendors, Nisswa's market offers a wide variety of produce and products, including goat cheese, honey, handmade jewelry, lotions, soaps and more.

Some of the products available at Thorson's include fresh garden produce, jellies, baked goods and wild rice. Offering new items each week, they are currently offering a mid-summer's bounty, including tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, peppers, potatoes and more.

Thorson's has been providing locally grown vegetables and fruits to farmers' markets in central Minnesota since 1988. Mike Thorson is the "green thumb" of the operation, in charge of growing the products, while his wife, Eloise sells them, along with help from their son and others.

"We liked the idea of selling our own products, meeting new people, being our own boss and overall, selling items that people like. It has been really rewarding," said Eloise. "Our growing methods are friendly to the environment, sensitive to our customer's health and safety, and are of excellent quality and flavor."

To ensure high quality products, Thorson's delivers them to the market freshly picked.

"The Nisswa Legion is really great, letting us use their parking lot for the market. They have been so supportive, and also have great food for lunch," Eloise said.

The Thorsons' stand can also be found at the Brainerd Lakes Area Growers Market, held 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd and 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays in the Gander Mountain parking lot in Baxter.