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Farm market lets shoppers fill their kitchens with locally grown produce

Every Tuesday and Saturday during the growing season, the Hastings Farm Market sets up at Westview Mall. Star Gazette photos by Katrina Styx1 / 5
The Pleasant Hill Library in Hastings had a booth at the market and offered a selection of farm food related books that could be checked out right at the market.2 / 5
Vendors bring seasonal produce of all kinds to the market.3 / 5
Brand Farm had bags of homemade apple chips and jam for sale.4 / 5
Shoppers browse a selection of baked goods at one vendor’s booth.5 / 5

Every Tuesday and Saturday morning, about two dozen local vendors set up tables in the corner of the Westview Center parking lot, putting all sorts of farm-fresh produce out for sale.

The Hastings Farm Market has been operating for about 30 years in Hastings, the last 10 of which have been at the Westview Center. And although it’s small, with a total of 25 vendors, it attracts shoppers from all over the region.

“We have people come down from the Twin Cities to shop our little market,” said Bea Westerberg, the market manager.

The market’s main focus is on vegetables, Westerberg said. But along with vegetables, there are products like honey, maple syrup, cut flowers, salsa and even bread. Vendors come from an area within about 25 miles of Hastings. Westerberg determines which vendors get to sell at the market, making sure that there’s a balanced variety of products.

Unlike a grocery store, where all varieties of produce are available year-round, the farm market’s offerings depend on what’s in season and ready to harvest.

“It’s very seasonal,” Westerberg said.

In a couple weeks, she expects to start seeing corn; after that, she said there will be melons and pumpkins.

Market vendors make a big effort to keep the event accessible and convenient for their customers. Westerberg said that many at the market are willing to help carry purchases to customers’ vehicles, or they’ll hold a purchase at their booth until a customer can drive their vehicle closer for loading. Great Harvest Bread Company, one of the more popular vendors, allows customers to place an order by phone to their Burnsville bakery that can be picked up at the farm market.

Parking is another convenience. Westerberg said, compared to other farm markets, the Hastings Farm Market has one of the best parking situation in the entire state.

The market is open every Tuesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will be open through the end of October.

For more about the market and updates on what’s being offered, go to the Hastings Farm Market page on Facebook or call Westerberg at 651-437-8573.

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