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DL Farmers Market to celebrate first 10 years

The Lakes Area Farmer's Market is in its 10th year, and organizers are planning a tasty celebration.

On Tuesday, Aug. 19, the market will be set up across from its normal location in the Detroit Lakes City Park to the bandshell from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors will encompass the bandshell area, where two featured chefs will be cooking up produce from the market.

Josh Hanson, Spanky's Stone Health, and Chad Miner, Brainerd, will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to demonstrate what the average person can cook up with fresh grown products. The fun catch is they don't know what they'll be cooking until they get there that day.

"It'll be kind of fun because it's an ad lib type deal. That really brings out their creativity," said organizer Dallas Flynn. "It's not going to be highfalutin things, either. It's what the common person can make."

There will be samples of what the chefs cook up and recipes to accompany.

"They will basically be featuring fresh vegetables, and the vegetables will be provided by the farmers that sell at the Farmers Market. Everything from onions to shiitake mushrooms, squash, the whole gamut," he said.

Organizer Sara VanOffelen said although she can't be sure what will be available at the Farmers Market that day, lately tomatoes, summer squash, potatoes, green beans and possibly sweet corn have been for sale.

"They'll figure it out when they get there based on what produce is available," she said of the chefs.

"I think it'll be a fun time," Flynn said. "I don't know, they don't know. I think the shiitake mushrooms will be the most exotic thing there."

Hanson said he's excited about the event because he hasn't participated in an impromptu cooking event like this before.

"It'll be a little more fun that way," he said of not knowing what to expect.

He added that he does know vegetables will be the focus, and that he plans to concentrate on teaching people how to tell the difference between fresh, organic products and those that have been trucked in from out of state.

"I'm excited bout it. I think it's a niche for this area," he said of the event.

Then that weekend, on Saturday, Aug. 23, vendors will host the annual customer appreciation day.

"The vendors all pool different products and that is a nice basket of produce and other local goods" to give away, VanOffelen said.

Local produce is in peak season now. Besides wonderful fruits and vegetables, there will be meats, baked goods, artisan breads, honey, maple syrup, flowers and hand-crafted items at the market.

"Right now the market is flourishing with produce, flowers, a real good variety right now down at the market," VanOffelen said.