A well-curated farmers market is, in my mind, the mark of a great community. It’s incredible and inspiring to see so much support for the local farmers and makers of our region. Even if you’re not someone who firmly believes that vegetables and produce should take up at least half of your plate, the Red River Market (RRM) has other local goods to draw you in. This year, the Market has doubled in size from the previous year, with more vendors than ever before. So whether you’re there for the produce, the food trucks, the pies, or the people, here are five reasons you need to attend the Red River Market:
1. The Selection of Produce.
When you have the option of shopping local, you hop aboard that train. Even better is when you’re shopping locally, seasonally, AND organic! Triple FTW! There are so many produce stands, and it’s fun to see what each stand offers. I actually lamented at not being able to shop at all of them. The first weekend the RRM opened, I pounced on some rainbow chard and purple and golden beets. Stands also had green beans, melons, leafy greens, zucchini, radishes, micro greens, raspberries and more!
2. The “Other” Market Goods.
Okay, so maybe you’re not a vegetable person. Maybe you’re one of those weird people who magically draws all of your nutritional value from half a bag of Doritos. Lucky for you, there’s other items besides produce available at the RRM! Start by hitting up one of the Twenty Below or Stumbeano’s coffee carts to fuel up your Downtown excursions. The Market also has vendors selling crafts and jewelry; locally-produced honey, salsas, and jams; fresh-cut flowers; grass-finished beef, lamb, and pork; free-range eggs; square-foot gardening products; and even alpaca yarn for your knitting needs!
3. The Ready-To-Eat Food.
If the way to your heart is through your stomach, then find your way to the fried pie stand. (My husband said that we are going to each and every single Market day just so he can get a fried pie.) Or grab some other baked goods: pastries, cake pops, coffee cake, cookies, madeleines, and breads! The Market also offers vegan, cruelty-free baked goods from Lucid Bakery. There are also food trucks set up (including some that are gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian), which is another wonderful way to experience some local flavor in our area!
4. People watching.
After you’ve scored your new produce/non-produce, it’s time to take a seat with your fried pie and do some good ol’ fashioned creeping. (Just kidding, no creeping allowed.) But it IS fun to people-watch! I like seeing what prompts people to stop and buy something, what they’re searching for, who people stop and talk to. The Market is also a great place to dog-watch! The Red River Market allows leashed dogs into the Market (as long as both pets and owners abide by the RRM’s rules). I met a Great Dane who became my new BFF.
5. Brews on Broadway.
This new slice of Downtown is a great way to get a taste of local music and beer to round-out your farmer’s market experience. You’ve got the beet. (See what I did there?)
A couple of bonuses to keep in mind:
- The Red River Market has announced a SNAP Double Bucks program. They provide twice the value to those using SNAP food assistance at the Market, matching up to $10, making $10 worth $20!
- Snag a ride to the Market by riding the Matbus and the LinkFM. Look for their Free Ride Coupon on RRM’s Facebook page (Saturdays only from July 9th to October 29th)
- If you forget to bring cash, stop by the Red River Market booth to purchase Market Money with a credit card!
You can find the Red River Market at 409 Broadway N, every Saturday between now and October 29th from 10AM to 2PM.