A short drive or walk to downtown Northfield and a quick jaunt over the river walk will lead you to the quaint local farmers’ market. The market is composed of vendors of all kinds with products ranging from fresh pastries, local apples, and delicious hot chocolate to handmade crafts, extravagant soaps, and wonderful live music.
Immediately upon entering the market you can feel a sense of small town community and pride. The crowd is filled with townies as well as students from St. Olaf and Carleton. The market captures all your senses with live music coming from every direction, vibrant stands lining the river walk, and delicious aromas filling the air. It is the perfect Saturday morning adventure or excuse to get out and get some fresh air on these brisk fall mornings.
I had the opportunity to visit many wonderful vendors, eat tons of delicious food, and see some incredible art. Now that I have recovered from my food coma, I have decided on my three favorite vendors that I tried while at the market.
First, I stopped at Martha’s Eats and Treats where I got the most delicious pastries I have ever had. Their apple turnover was made to perfection. The dough was flaky, and the inside was filled to the brim with a wonderful apple and cinnamon mixture. They were so good I had to go back for seconds! I also tried one of their chocolate croissants which were equally as amazing. Pro tip: take it back to your dorm room and stick it in the microwave for a warm, gooey, chocolate center which would pair amazingly with a cup of coffee. Martha’s Eats and Treats was absolutely delicious, and I will definitely be going back to get more of her fantastic pastries!
My next favorite was Twin Oaks Orchard. They had a wide variety of apple types and products. The real masterpiece was their freshly made apple chips. They are perfectly crunchy, sweet yet a little tart, and have a lovely hint of cinnamon. There is no doubt that the large bag of them that I purchased will be gone in the next 48 hours. Another excuse to make a trip back to the market.
Lastly, Bakehouse219 had fresh bread that was to die for! They had a large selection of loaves of bread and various butters. Their bread had a thick crust balanced by a decadently soft inside. If I had the choice, I would have bought one of everything.
Visiting the Northfield farmers market was the perfect way to spend my Saturday morning. I highly recommend taking a trip to check it out yourself, and finding your personal favorites. The market is open every Saturday from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Grab your friends, and head down to the river walk to experience this local delicacy, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
An interview with Pat McBride of Twin Oaks Orchards
What is your position at the Twin Oaks Orchard? How long have you been working here? Give a brief overview of the origins of the orchard, if possible.
If helpful, you can look at our website for additional information. We developed it two years ago when COVID caused the Riverwalk Market Fair to be cancelled for the season.
I am the owner/operator/laborer/marketer, in other words, it’s just me and my wife Jan who helps with markets, etc. We moved to the area in 2005, and found a farm site in the country, and started planting a few apple trees, but then continued to plant until now we have about a 2.5 acre orchard. I retired from my professional job last December, so now I’m devoting full time to the orchard.
How long has the Twin Oaks Orchard been a part of the Northfield Farmers Market?
I was part of the market when it began in 2007 or 2008, initially selling strawberries. We’ve been part of the market ever since, transitioning to orchard fruit, primarily apples, and a few pears.
What do you look forward to the most when being a vendor at the Northfield Farmers Market every Saturday? Do you find it to be a good way to interact with the community and friends?
In addition to selling apples, I look forward to seeing regular customers and meeting new customers. I also enjoy answering questions people have about the fruit and growing apples. In addition, it’s nice to see the neighbor vendors each week.
Are there any obstacles or struggles that come with being a vendor at the farmers market?
By and large it is very positive. I feel very privileged to vend apples at Riverwalk. The only challenge I can think of is that the market ends mid-October, while some apple varieties are not quite ripe. But I am very much looking forward to being part of the new Riverwalk Indoor Winter Market on Saturdays starting in November. In addition, we continue to do a weekly delivery to Northfield on Thursday afternoons for those who order apples. (We started this during COVID.)
Interview conducted over email by Mathilde Hardy, A&E Editor