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New weekly Rochester farmers market to plow ahead on Tuesday

The Village Agricultural Cooperative, a Rochester nonprofit group that works with more than 200 families farming on about 11 acres of urban farmland, is starting its Village Farmers Market from 4

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The Village Agricultural Cooperative, a Rochester nonprofit group that works with more than 200 families farming on about 11 acres of urban farmland, is starting its Village Farmers Market from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26 at the Olmsted County History Center at 1195 West Circle Drive. The plan is to host the market every Tuesday through October in a park shelter behind the History Center building.
Jeff Kiger / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — Rochester shoppers looking for fresh produce will soon have a new place to buy locally grown vegetables and fruits when a gardening cooperative with an international flavor launches its own weekly market.

The Village Agricultural Cooperative , a nonprofit group that works with more than 200 families farming on about 11 acres of urban farmland, is starting its Village Farmers Market from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26 at the Olmsted County History Center at 1195 West Circle Drive.

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The plan is to host the market every Tuesday through October in a park shelter behind the History Center building. The cooperative has a garden plot next to where the market will be held.

Chris Allen, who is working with the cooperative to manage the new weekly market, expects to have 15 to 17 vendors selling a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, baked goods and jams.

Shoppers may discover some things new to them, because the Village Agricultural Cooperative works with recent immigrants and first-generation immigrants using indigenous farming practices to grow culturally relevant foods.

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That means in addition to the usual tomatoes, beans, squash and corn, the vendors will have things lemongrass, huckleberries, watergrass, tomatillos, Asian greens, managu from Africa, and cleome gynandra cabbage.

The cooperative and market represent local gardeners from more than 20 countries including Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Japan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Sudan, Bosnia, Ukraine, Russia, Iran, Mexico and India.

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Amanda Nigon-Crowley is the director of The Village Agricultural Cooperative. The Cooperative, a Rochester nonprofit group that works with more than 200 families farming on about 11 acres of urban farmland, is starting its Village Farmers Market from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26 at the Olmsted County History Center at 1195 West Circle Drive (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

“The farmers are excited to share their produce, recipes and cultures,” said Allen.

Kim Sin and Amanda Nigon-Crowley founded the cooperative in 2019 to help southeastern Minnesota immigrant communities grow their own healthy and culturally familiar food.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in "Heard on the Street." Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.

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Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard Around Rochester," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. The opinions of my employer do not necessarily reflect my opinions. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.
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