Winter Market Season Returns with Local Food, Dance Performance, and Matching Dollars for EBT-SNAP Shoppers
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. – October 16, 2018 – Local food, art, and dance intersects at the start of a new 6-market season for the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace (609 13th Ave NE, Door 8, Little Falls) on Saturday, October 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The market will gather over 40 vendors in the revamped industrial warehouse to make their handmade, homegrown food, art, and other products available for sale to the public. This free monthly event offers more than local shopping as the community gathers to enjoy live entertainment by the Vespertine Tribal Dancers as well as a bison stir-fry cooking demonstration in Sprout’s commercial kitchen. The Sprout market also coincides with the Small But Noteworthy Art Crawl across Little Falls, filling the weekend of October 26 & 27 with even more artists and performers than usual.
Sprout’s winter indoor market has been a sales venue for local producers when the regular summer farmers markets close. Local products include artisan baked goods, sauces and canned goods, locally raised chicken, pork, and beef. Artists and makers showcase their skills in painting, woodwork, metal forging, fiber artistry and more. Curtis Weinrich of Dancing the Land Farm (Clearwater, MN) has participated in several Sprout markets, offering a variety of produce, flowers, and mohair fiber from their Angora goats. “The Sprout market has been really great as a winter market outlet, and we’ve gotten to connect with other farmers and customers in a new area for us,” said Curtis.
The cooking demonstration at the market will be led by Sharon Nordrum, an artist inspired by her Ojibwe heritage, language and stories, and the beauty of the natural world around her. Sharon has recently completed an art installation piece that will reside at Sprout named “Gaagiige gaaminiyaang” meaning “she forever provides for us”. The community is invited to view the painting which represents connectedness through a floral board which represents the Ojibwe people and The Four Sisters (Sunflowers, Corn, Squash and Beans) as the food that has sustained the Ojibwe people for centuries. At the October 27th market, Sharon will demonstrate a bison-stir fry dish from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. with ingredients such as plums, sumac, peppers, onions and squash. Community members are invited to watch the cooking demonstration and sample the dish. Lunch and beverage options will also be available for purchase from 11:00 a.m.
The Vespertine Tribal Dancers (pictured), a belly dance troupe based out of Spirit Movement Dance Studio in the Franklin Arts Center (Brainerd, MN) will entertain at Sprout’s October market. Performances will be every 30-minutes: 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. Performing at 2:00 p.m. is Sestri (Bulgarian for "Sisters"), a Slavic choir from Little Falls, MN, devoted to the study and performance of women’s Slavic folk music.
Shoppers utilizing their SNAP benefits can now double their dollar at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace due to support from Hunger Solutions Minnesota. Shoppers with SNAP can swipe their EBT card at the market information booth to receive tokens, plus an additional dollar for every dollar spent up to $10 in “Market Bucks.” Market Bucks can then be used at vendor booths during the market for any SNAP eligible items - breads, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, dairy products, and more. SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal food assistance program. Benefits are placed on an electronic benefits transfer card (EBT) similar to a debit card. To find out if you qualify for SNAP, call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 1-888-711-1151 or visit mnfoodhelpline.org for more information.
The next market on November 17 will feature Corey Medina & Brothers, a Blues-Rock band led by Corey Medina from the Navajo Nation. The Brothers band consist of Eric Sundeen of Bemidji, MN on drums and Gary Broste also from Bemidji, on upright bass. They set out to spread light to dark, and hope to the hopeless with their raw, soulful, intimate music and stage presence.