LITTLE FALLS-The intersection of food, art, and culture will happen again at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace, 609 13th Ave. NE., Door 8, Little Falls, as the Sprout markets resume for the autumn/winter from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 28.
Growers and makers are encouraged to sign up for a vender booth now - the markets average 350-plus shoppers, and there is no long-term vendor commitment required. The fee is $10 per market, which is subsidized from the full value of $55 by generous grant dollars.
Sprout also offers space for rent in its licensed commercial refrigerators, freezers, and dry storage for vendors to store their frozen meat, canned goods, and other food products, so they do not need to haul their products to the market each month.
The October market will spotlight youth as growers, makers, artists, and performers. Lili Charlier, a ukulele musician by the clever moniker, Ukulili, takes the stage to perform live 10:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
The guest chef demonstrating in Sprout's on-site kitchen from 12:30-1:30 p.m. will be Austin Maile, a 16-year-old local food entrepreneur and owner of Austin's Acres. Maile will partner with
Chef Matt Annand of Prairie Bay to showcase his jalapeño bourbon barbecue sauce which took first place at the 2017 St. Cloud Wing Fest. He is a frequent vendor at the Marketplace and provides an assortment of homemade barbecue and pizza sauces, salsas, jellies, wood-fired roasted coffee, various hot sauces, Bloody Mary mix and tomato basil soup - all produced at his parents' home near Avon. Maile is making the preparations to scale his business beyond farmers market sales by utilizing Sprout's shared-use licensed kitchen. The performances and
demonstrations are free and open to the public as they come to the market to celebrate and shop local food and art.
Two new functional art installations will be unveiled at the market: First, Gideon Hershberger, an Amish community member from Verndale, hand-milled medium oak benches to be used
as seating throughout the Marketplace space. Second, Miguel Mahlich of Tusk Metalworks will unveil six new harvest tables created for Sprout's functional art installations. The tables are each 8 feet long with benches, creating a 50-foot picnic table for future harvest dinners at Sprout and where Marketplace shoppers can sit, relax, and watch cooking demonstrations while enjoying lunch, beverages, and entertainment. Sprout reported the harvest table will display Mahlich's creativity and skill using a combination of metal and woodworking. The quality of
craftsmanship is aimed at outliving us, Mahlich said. A short film created by Dying to Film, previews Mahlich's story and welding work on the tables and is viewable here.
Also at the October market, the winners of Sprout's T-shirt design contest will be recognized. Eligible contestants within 100 miles of Sprout's facility submitted designs for new Sprout swag during August, the public voted in September, and T-shirts will be printed for sale starting at the October market. The top four winning designers receive $200 cash, $50 in Market Bucks, plus a T-shirt with their winning design.
Looking ahead, the November market will celebrate Latino artists, growers, and makers and unveil additional functional art pieces made by community members from Long Prairie.
Salsa ice cream flavors of jalapeno cilantro lime and mango habanero developed by the University of Minnesota Ice Cream Lab will be for sale. These flavors were developed for the first Minnesota Salsa Fest in Long Prairie by the Sustainable Farming Association - Central Chapter and were so well received, Sprout is making them available at the November
At the November market, the public will be asked to vote for Sprout "Community Choice" awards for the best vendor booths. Judging criteria includes most engaging booth visually, socially, culturally and place-based. Details are available under the Placemaking tab on the Sprout website. Sprout will recognize the winning vendors and award them by making purchases from the winners' offerings.
December will highlight Somali culture with community chefs preparing sambusa among other foods to have available at the market.
The community is invited to shop the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace vendors selling local food and art on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 28, Nov. 18, and Dec. 9, 2017, plus during 2018 on Jan. 27, Feb. 24, March 24, Oct. 27, Nov. 17, and Dec. 8. During these markets, through visual and performing art, culinary demonstrations, educational events and more, Sprout will showcase our community's assets and talents found amongst the variety of cultures across the region, in which the public may participate or attend.
In the months of April, May, June, July, and August, the Marketplace will host cultural exchange cooking classes, educational opportunities for growers and artists, and dinner events to support nonprofit organizations and small businesses from the region.
The activities are funded through a three-year grant awarded to the Region Five Development Commission by ArtPlace America's National Creative Placemaking Fund.
"The ArtPlace funds will offer the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace and our partners the support needed to host the expansion of economic opportunities, social cohesion, and learning for local growers, artists, makers, producers, chefs, and the public," Arlene Jones, executive director of Sprout, said in a news release. "Through a collection of culturally specific activities, we will establish Sprout as a destination where food, art, and culture meet."
Additionally, as part of its placemaking strategy, Sprout and partners will continue to build out the Marketplace's physical space over the next three years using commissioned functional art from local artists, with priority granted to Latino, Somali, Amish, Native, grower, and
youth communities. These pieces will be revealed at monthly markets
Interested shoppers, growers, artists, chefs, and educators who want to learn more, visit www.SproutMN.com and follow the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace on Facebook.