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Farmers Market food demos

Not only is the Lake Area Farmers Market open in Detroit Lakes City Park, the growers are thanking customers by hosting an appreciation day Saturday, Aug. 14. Area chefs will demonstrate cooking with fresh produce and have samples for everyone to see just how good fresh tastes.

There will also be a drawing for a basket of donated items from the Farmer's Market vendors.

Even if you don't win the basket though, mosey on over to the Farmers Market, where you can find all sorts of homemade and locally grown foodstuffs.

The market opened for the season May 15, and is open for business from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer months.

There are 28 full-time venders this year, enough so that organizers are looking at three rows of booths instead of two this year, said farmers market president Linda Leitheiser.

There are also part-time venders and those who show up occasionally, she said.

Not all full-timers are there at the same time, it depends on what they're selling -- sweet corn venders obviously aren't there until the corn ripens in late July or August.

Already available are venders selling fresh rhubarb, asparagus, spinach, lettuce and other vegetables, real maple syrup and homemade doughnuts. (The doughnuts are from Leitheiser, who made more than 1,700 dozen last year). New venders at the farmers market this year will sell homemade chips and salsa, locally-raised meat and homemade barbecue.

Venders come from a 60-mile radius around Detroit Lakes and their goods are required to be grown or produced at home.

"You cannot bring anything in from out of state and you cannot bring anything in you have not made yourself," Leitheiser said. "It must be your own product."

Some venders accept WIC (Women, Infants and Children) coupons, so that "mothers with small children can come out and get good, fresh produce," she added.

The market opens at 10 a.m. sharp -- no early sales -- in order to give all venders a chance to set up and get ready before the selling begins.

"If a vender comes in and is running late, we all help them get set up -- we have a good group of people here," she said.

Then a cowbell is rung and the selling starts.

The farmers market is a popular place with the locals, and others.

"In the summertime we have a lot of tourists who come," she said.