Perennial Favorites at Centennial Lakes Farmers’ Market

Edina shoppers seek out fresh eats.

A snack. A dish. An entire meal. Every epicurean event is elevated when it’s created with fresh, locally grown ingredients. The Centennial Lakes Farmers Market has more than 30 vendors, offering fresh produce, jams and jellies, and other tasty delicacies. Several vendors are returning for the sixth year.

Groveland Confections is known for handmade treats made from fresh, local ingredients. Signature items include Moo Pies (think classic turtle candies), sea salt caramel bars, toffee and designer barks. Groveland’s Andrea Pesses explains that the salty dogs are a riff on a classic peanut-covered caramel and nougat candy bar, and Jack Daniel’s caramel, hazelnut chocolate and vanilla bean chocolate sauces are perfect for serving with ice cream or cheese and fruit.

Peter’s Pumpkins and Carmen’s Corn returns to the market with apples, broccoli, cauliflower, green (wax and yellow) beans, leeks, onions, plums, pumpkins, spinach, sweet corn and tomatoes. “Our biggest following is for the sweet corn and pumpkins,” Peter Marshall says. Though the corn variety is a secret, he offers one hint: “I pick the corn in the morning, and that has a lot to do with it.”

Customers can choose from nearly 30 varieties of pumpkins in orange, pink, red and white. “They like things that are different,” Marshall says of shoppers. “It’s fun to grow different things, see how they produce and see the reaction of the customers.”

Picha Farms offers a wide variety of fruits and vegetables from its 35-acres of farmland, but its bread and butter are raspberries, tomatoes and a broad selection of melons. While the farm isn’t certified organic, the fruits and vegetables at the market are chemical-free. In business since 1903, Picha Farms understands the value of repeat customers. Picha says the Edina market is an ideal place to foster relationships with shoppers.

Tollefson Family Pork offers its brand of all-natural meat products that don’t contain antibiotics or growth hormones. Shoppers can find an extensive selection of sausages, bacon (including cottage bacon), chops, hot dogs, Polish sausages, tenderloin and more. The ground pork and side pork are customer favorites. Jenny Tollefson says, “We have people who buy 30 pounds of ground pork at a time. It’s not seasoned, so it keeps well in the freezer.” She recommends using their ground pork in tacos and the sweet Italian sausage with pasta; the cottage bacon is a perfect fit for BLTs.

Tollefson enjoys the market, especially since the smaller venue offers people a chance to stroll, shop and chat.

If Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm’s corn can take the big stage at the Great Minnesota Get-Together, aka the State Fair, then it’s only fitting that it appears at the Edina’s farmers market. “We work really hard to produce the most flavorful sweet corn,” Jenna Untiedt says, noting the farm supplies all the sweet corn for the Fair. Not to be outdone, the farm’s tomatoes are also a customer favorite. “We’ve built a big brand around our tomatoes,” Untiedt says. “People come back for them year after year.” Shoppers can also choose from the farm’s apples, cucumbers, green beans, melons, raspberries, strawberries and zucchini.

The market, located at 7499 France Ave., is open from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, June 11-September 24. Additional information is available here, or by calling the park manager at 952.833.9582.