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Farmers' market at Ideal Green Market Co-op to open May 16

A new farmers' market hosted by the Ideal Green Market Cooperative will open Saturday, May 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will run every Saturday through September, and into October, weather permitting, next door to the Old Milwaukee Club in Ideal...

A new farmers' market hosted by the Ideal Green Market Cooperative will open Saturday, May 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will run every Saturday through September, and into October, weather permitting, next door to the Old Milwaukee Club in Ideal Corners.

Currently there are nine vendors committed to participating at some level.

"May 16 is a little early for produce, of course," said Barb Mann, co-op coordinator, "however, there will likely be some greens from growers with hoop houses, canned goods, preserves, crafts and there will be starter plants to help home growers give their own gardens a kick start."

Vendors to date include: Alder Song Farm (produce) of Merrifield; B & B Farm Co. (goat milk soap and goods) of Pine River; Brakstad Green Acres (hand milled flours) of Pequot Lakes; Grampa G's (produce, canned goods, plants) of Pillager; Hammerfest Farm (CSA produce) of Pequot Lakes; Kowalzek Soothing Salves (honey, salves) of Pierz; Red Truck Crafts & Garden of Pine River; Scandia Valley Dairy of Brainerd; and Smude Enterprises (cold pressed sunflower oil) of Pierz.

Additional vendors who meet market guidelines are welcome.

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The member campaign for the food co-op continues with 68 member-owners currently committed to realizing the vision of a viable, sustainable food cooperative in Ideal Corners. They intend to feature local goods from growers and food producers that fit the criteria of non-GMO, natural and sustainably produced goods.

Additional local goods will be featured such as soaps and personal care products that meet co-op product criteria.

"The farmers' market will allow people to access the local food and goods they desire more quickly than we can open the store," said board president Dan Kayser. "As we develop relationships with vendors, they'll serve as suppliers for the co-op, making goods available year-round."

Eventually there will be chef demonstrations during the farm market, and the intention is to schedule a series of classes in the co-op during the week. These food related classes will be offered at a discount to members, and will also be open to the general public. Persons interested in offering a class can contact the co-op.

The farmers' market is supported in part thanks to a grant from Crow Wing Energized. SNAP/EBT will also be available eventually. The first four markets are free to vendors with both indoor and outdoor spots available on a first-come, first-served basis.

There are many ways to be involved with both the farmers' market and the co-op. For more information, visit www.idealgreenmarket.com , email Mann at barb@idealgreenmarket.comor call 218-838-6058.

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