Another trip to the Farmers Market, by bike. This morning I went to the Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market, located on East Lyndale Ave N kinda behind the Basilica of St Mary. For those of you keeping track, that is not actually "NE." Total haul: one bunch rhubarb, one giant bag of apple "seconds," and three quarts of strawberries. I haven't made a very extensive survey of the city farmers markets but I think this one has some of the best prices. This is certainly the one to go to if you want an entire bushel of tomatoes or zucchini or adorable baby eggplants, sometimes for as low as $10. It's pretty car-centric and doesn't have a lot of available bike parking (official racks or conveniently places signposts) but it's open every day of the week.
Unlike last time, I didn't have a pannier with me today, which makes a slightly more stable carrying container than my backpack (amazingly fun loaner bike = no cargo rack). Still, with apples in the bottom as a stabilizer, the berries made it home in beautiful condition...and I had to squish the containers slightly to get them to fit in my bag. I did allow the seller to wrap them in separate plastic bags, which helped. I will re-use those at the U of M market later this week. If I know I am planning to buy berries, I bring my own plastic containers to keep them safer on the way home. I'm not particularly gentle with them, so raspberries still end up slightly squashed.
A picture of a quart of strawberries. The green paper container is slightly squished but the berries are glossy, red, and damage-free.
I had one of those encounters with the strawberry seller. But on such a beautiful day I am happy to be a positive example of bike-based transportation and I find the encounter more amusing then anything else. She was clearly concerned that my strawberries make it home without getting squished as she asked, "are you taking those home by bike?"
I am wearing a bike helmet. It is still strapped around my chin, because otherwise it will fall off every time I bend down to get something out of my backpack. It's pretty dang hot out today (= sweaty helmet head) and I don't really "do" fashion statement, so yes, I'm carrying those on my bike. "Yes, I am," I told her, "but I'm not too worried about them getting squished. I'm planning to use a good portion of them to make jam!"
- From the Cedar Lake Trail, take the exit closest to the Twins Stadium and veer right (if you are coming from the W River Parkway, this is after you pass the stadium). Turn right on Glenwood Ave. The first thing you do is cross Royalston Ave N/N 12th St (changes names) at a traffic light. Shortly afterward, at another light, turn right on East Lyndale Ave N and the farmers market will be on your right.
- I think the easiest way navigationally to get back to the Cedar Lake Trail is to walk back down East Lyndale about half a block (it's a one-way street with pretty crowded pedestrian and slow-moving-car traffic) and turn left on Glenwood by first walking across the crosswalk. When you hit the next traffic light, you'll make a left to the same trail "exit" ramp you used on the way there. It's also pretty easy to loop around the market on your bike while following the flow of traffic.