Rochester Downtown Farmers Market "produces" great produce
ROCHESTER, MN (FOX 47)-- Not too far down Highway 52, every Tuesday, you'll find the smaller version of the “Rochester Downtown Farmer's Market.” David Kotsonas, who is market manager, explains the market has been around for quite awhile.
“The market's been open for 29 years. It's been slowly growing over time. Now, we have 93 vendors this year. It originally started out with four vendors; just a small group who decided they wanted to get together and sell,” said Kotsonas. “It's moved quite a bit through Rochester. I think it's had four different locations. This is our Tuesday market. We've been here all summer: two to six, every Tuesday. We're going to be here, in the Ashley Furniture parking lot off of 52, until the end of September. We also have a Thursday market in the southeast part of town at Bethel Lutheran Church, where we'll also run until the end of September, from two to six as well,” Kotsonas explained.
“Of course, these are all in addition to our Saturday market, which runs through October on fourth street and fourth avenue,” said Kotsonas.
The market has become so popular that it recently received some local recognition. “This year has been fantastic. We were named the best farmer's market in the state by the 'Star and Tribune,'” said Kotsonas.
Not only does the produce itself add to the market's popularity, it's also about the people. Kelly Davidson, who is one of the vendors, had her veritable gallimaufry of goodies on display.
“ I've got lots of pickles. It's pickle and tomato time. I also have green beans, peppers...look at those beautiful peppers. Yum! There's also sweet onions. This is the last of the potatoes. I just dug these on Monday. We've got fresh herbs yet. But, I'm the pickle lady,” Davidson said laughing. Usually on this table, I can't fit all my stuff and underneath is always full. But right now, we're in the switch between the summer produce and the fall,” explained Davidson.
Kotsonas adds that above all, there is one unique characteristic that makes this farmer's market stand out among the rest. “We have a great variety of locally grown produce. All of our produce comes from within 50 miles of Rochester. Most of it's picked this morning or yesterday. There's all sorts of stuff from onions, tomatoes, melons, sweet corn, peppers, hot peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, leeks, there's a lot here,” Kotsonas said.
And just in case you're still debating if it's worth the trip, Kotsonas has the final word. “Oh, come visit. It's a wonderful place. It's very friendly, very welcoming, you'll enjoy it.”
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