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Downtown debut: Music made, produce peddled at farmers market

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Joleen Platz bags items for a customer at the farmers market, Saturday. Platz said it was successful day with many items selling out. Within the first 90 minutes of the market, most of the Platz's table was sold out.

NEW ULM– The KNUJ Farmers Market came to German Street Saturday morning for the first time.

The section of German Street along German Park was blocked off to through-traffic to host the vendors. German Street will be the regular location for the market on Saturdays through the end of the season.

The market is a bi-weekly event, running on Thursdays and Saturdays. Cashwise Foods hosts the market on Thursday. Most of the same vendors attending the Thursday market returned Saturday and saw similar success.

Juan and Dalia Cervantes of rural Fairfax brought their table to German Street for the first time. The Cervanteses were at Cashwise on Thursday. Dalia said their salsas and pickles sold well on Saturday.

Asked how it felt to sell products downtown, Dalia acknowledged it was strange but said they would get used to it.

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Jams, syrups and salsas sold well at Saturday’s farmers market. Lori Zollner of the Sugar Shanty said the syrups that sold the best were the ones with rhubarb in them.

Several of the vendors said it felt unusual to be on German Street, but they all were happy with sales.

Sue Blake of New Ulm sells syrups and other baked goods and admitted to being a little nervous selling on German Street instead of Cashwise, but she said a lot of people were happy to find her close to downtown. She sold out of baked goods within the first 90 minutes.

Joleen Platz of rural Comfrey was also nervous about bringing the Platz produce stand to German Street but said the regular customers were able to find them, and they picked up some new customers.

Halfway through the day, Platz’s stand had run out of cucumbers, asparagus, green beans and kohlrabi.

In addition to vendors peddling produce, the downtown market had musicians playing music. Adam Munsterman and Dain Moldan provided concertina music. Games were also set up on the corners for children.

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Dain Moldan of Dain’s Dutchman plays the concertina with help from Dryden Moldan during Saturday's farmers market.

Yvonne Weber said the farmers market was brought to German Street by the Downtown Action Team. Weber was on a subcommittee to bring the market downtown and she was not disappointed in the turnout.

The hope was the market would attract people downtown. Weber said now people know there are family activities downtown on Saturday mornings.

The goal for future weeks is to bring at least one food truck to the Saturday market, hosting kids activities and keeping spots open for nonprofit groups.

The downtown farmers market will be open from 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays through October. The market is open Thursdays from 2:30-5:30 p.m in the Cashwise parking lot.

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