Farmers Market encourages students to come to Saturday morning social

Allison Mueller

Jessica Bendzick/ Winonan

From goat milk soap to cheese curds, the Winona Farmers Market, located at the corner of 2nd and Main Street, offers students many options.

The market is hosting “College Day” which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 7:30 a.m. to1 p.m., and will be part of Winona State University’s Family Weekend.

Winona State English professor James Armstrong said he often meets many of his friends at the market to have a cup of coffee or to simply listen to the music. He also commented on the beauty of the market.

“Aesthetically, it’s really beautiful. You see all these gorgeous fruits and vegetables and all these people having a good time,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong has been supporting the market for about 15 years. As he put it, “One of the greatest social occasions in Winona is Saturday morning.”

Additionally, he is part of Winona State’s Theme Committee, which installed this year’s theme, “Sustainability.” Armstrong hopes the community will begin to realize they are able to get ahold of fresh produce.

He also said he likes the personal connection he feels when buying from local farmers.

Winona Farmers Market coordinator Jessica Hawthorne said one of their main focuses is to help college students realize what types of resources are available locally in the community.

“Affordability is a big thing for some college students, and we want to show them there are items they can buy for reasonable prices,” Hawthorne said.

Even if students do not plan on purchasing anything, Hawthorne encourages everyone to stop by, especially if they have never been to the market before.

A few changes have taken place at the market lately, Hawthorne said. They recently extended their hours until 1 p.m. rather than noon, and they now have live music at the market every weekend.

Every now and then, they also organize for a masseuse to come in to the market to give free massages to customers.

Some of their this summer main events included Kids Day and food sampling. Hy-Vee came for the food sampling event and used market fresh produce to cook bruschetta.

“College Day”, there will be yard games, live music and contests, and the market will have an area set up where families can sit together or listen to the music.

Additional items for sale will include honey, ice cream, fresh flowers, beef sticks, baked goods, apples and coffee.

“College Day” will be free and open to the public.

The summer market will run through the end of October. This year, the winter market will be held from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. twice a month at the East End Recreation Center. Many of the same types of items will be available, and there will be an area for children to play.