The Ideal Green Market Cooperative recently celebrated its second birthday at the completion of the farmers market for the 2016 season.

Local growers and food producers within 100 miles of the market were pleased with the expanded customer base, which is allowing them to grow and expand their businesses to make local food more accessible in the area.

The market continues to be open to the public through the fall and winter season from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

There continues to be local foods available from growers as the harvest season continues, especially for growers with greenhouses and/or hoop houses that extend the growing season in the northern Minnesota climate. It is anticipated the market will feature local greens such as romaine, lettuces, endive, squash, potatoes and more through November.

All shoppers are welcome. Membership has grown to 210 to date as the base foundation expands.

Volunteer training dates are set from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 25, Nov. 29 and Jan. 24, at the market site. This orientation provides an overview and procedures to volunteering at the co-op.

A Holiday Gourmet Lunch & Silent Auction is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Old Milwaukee Club in Ideal Corners at County Road 16 and County Road 39 about halfway between Pequot Lakes and Crosslake. The menu will feature local meats and vegetables and the silent auction will provide an opportunity to purchase unique gifts for giving at holiday time.

Classes are being organized on topics such as coconut products and their uses, creating spice blends, benefits of chaga and more. More information will come soon.

Board members and staff continue to learn about the grocery market business and the benefits of establishing a local food system in the area. For more information and/or to offer input, email manager@idealgreenmarket.com; visit www.idealgreenmarket.com; like the group on Facebook; or call 218-543-6565.