Every Saturday from May to December, the red building on the corner of 14th Avenue East and Third Street is abuzz with activity. Some go to the Duluth Farmer's Market in search of the perfect pumpkin squash. Some go to find fresh bundles of flowers. Some like to chat with the gardeners. Last Saturday, the Budgeteer went in search of stories from the growers and customers.
Visiting the "Muffin Lady"
David and Lynn Tryggestad were in search of dinner.
"I'm sitting here contemplating dinner. I think we're going to have chicken, fresh vegetables like squash and some of those beautiful potatoes," Lynn said.
The Tryggestads have been going to the market nearly every week for the past 15 years.
"We used to live just up the street, so it was easier to come. We would just walk down. We loved it," David said. "Recently we've moved to Lakeside, so we have to come a little farther."
Why do they keep coming back?
"Oh the atmosphere, and, of course, the food," Lynn said.
"We have personal relationships with almost all the vendors that we've developed over these many years," David added.
The couple likes to start every Saturday morning with a pastry from the "Muffin Lady."
"That's what we call her. She's the one there on the end with all the delicious breads and muffins and pastries," David said. "One Saturday we got here and she wasn't here and we were so sad. It doesn't feel like a Saturday without something from the Muffin Lady."
Lynn said she likes to start her Christmas shopping at the market.
"We've already started looking at things. People love to get things like honey, jams and jellies and beeswax candles," Lynn said.
Lori Anderson, of On Eagles Wings Farm, was searching for people to try her latest project: microgreens.
"They're basically tiny plants that we grow. You can put them on soups, salads, sandwiches. Want to try one?" Anderson asked.
Microgreens are tender edible greens that grow to about 1-3 inches tall. The tiny plants have the same nutritional value as their larger counterparts.
"You just eat the whole thing. I like to use them in my omelets," Anderson said.
Anderson had sunflower, spicy mustard and spinach microgreens to sell on Saturday.
"I grow them in my basement," Anderson said. "I tried to take them outside in the spring, but it didn't go too well. I found out the chipmunks really like these too. They were always digging in it. I put them back in the basement."
A sign of the times
Barb Hollinday was busy arranging bunches of flowers from her garden into small bouquets. Behind her stood a large handpainted sign which read "Barb Hollinday www.riversedgegardens.com" with several large handpainted flowers.
"That was done by the eighth-graders at Woodland Middle School several years ago," Hollinday said. "Their art teacher got a grant and Lois Hoffbauer and myself went and talked to the students. They knew I was into flowers, so they used that for mine."
Several other signs in the building were painted by the students of that class, as well as the next two classes that followed. Deb Shubat, owner of Shubat's Fruits, appears on another painting done by the students in her booth.
"Their instructor came by and took photos of different booths and growers," Shubat said. "I thought it was pretty cool."
The Duluth Farmer's Market is open 2-6 p.m. on Wednesdays and 7 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.