For me, the summer officially begins when the Rochester Downtown Farmers Markethas its first outdoor market, which means that this weekend it’s summertime, baby!

Saturday is the first outdoor farmers market of the season in Rochester, and there will be lots of green seedlings to ogle and asparagus to snatch up. Plus loads of salsas, breads, fresh fruit and veggies, all being sold by the people who grew and made them.

Jessica Joyce, market manager, says there will be nearly 40 vendors at the opening market. She says despite the late spring we had, you can expect to see lots of fresh veggies, thanks to the magic of greenhouses and many dedicated farmers.  

New to the lineup of vendors this year are Hazelnut Valley Farmfrom Lake City, Grace Gardens Granola, and two new concession vendors; Infuzn Foodswill be serving Indian-inspired foods with a global twist (and will have many vegan options, says Joyce) and Crepe Jean Lucwill have authentic French pastries, crepes, and buckwheat galettes, which are gluten-free savory crepes.

If you’ve never been to the market, it’s hard to miss. It takes up an entire parking lot by the government center on 4th Street and 4th Ave. SE. For how many more years, however, is up for debate, given the current turbulence of downtown properties. The market has started taking serious steps to locate a permanent home in Rochester.

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"We’re excited for a great summer of activities, partnerships, and events that will help the market remain essential to our community," says Joyce.

What you can expect to find at Saturday’s market:

  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Microgreens
  • Mushrooms
  • Meats
  • Asparagus
  • Green onions
  • Rhubarb
  • Starter plants, both flowers and vegetables

What: Rochester Downtown Farmers Market

When: 7:30 a.m. to noon, Saturdays

Where: 4th St. SE and 4th Ave. SE

Parking: There are two parking lots next to the market, but there is also plenty of street parking if you arrive later in the day when attendance picks up.