Saturday was a full day, starting with a visit to the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market. They are conveniently located at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds, with ample parking, and now cozily located in Building 35. Even on a brisk December day the atmosphere (and temperature) is warm and friendly.
I’ll happily feature a few of the vendors whose goods I purchased on this trip. I’ll start with Sekapp Orchards, from whom I bought a jar of honey. I picked up a dozen farm fresh eggs from Vreeman Farms out of Mazeppa, and bacon and pork chops from Hidden Stream Farm out of Elgin. I saw a nice variety of potatoes, onions, apples, garlic, squash, and other fruits and vegetables, plus chicken, lamb, pork, and beef. Add to that jams, jellies, handmade soaps, and you’ve got plenty to choose from.
Tips for visitors: The Downtown Farmers market operates every other Saturday in the winter months, so check their website or Facebook page. Most vendors can take credit card payment in addition to cash.
A bonus for me this week was to hear some good old-time string music, provided by the Young and Old Timers band.
They are a “family and friends” band, with Tom Burket on banjo, Charlie Burket on fiddle and mandolin, Gerard Wimmer on guitar, Mina Wimmer on fiddle, and Greg Wimmer on washboard and feet. I requested a good old tune, Soldiers Joy, which got Greg up dancing, and the crowd smiling. Watch for them around town, and don’t forget to drop a buck or two in the guitar case to show your appreciation.
Later in the day Janet and I took the Mayowood Christmas Tour, starting at the History Center of Olmsted County. Photos inside Mayowood are not permitted, so I’ll simply say that you have to see it for yourself. Janet and I have been to Mayowood previously, so it was a nice treat to get to see some of the upper floor bedrooms this time, which were previously not available for public viewing. Each room throughout Mayowood was decorated for the season. We had a friendly and informative tour guide who pointed out lots of interesting features of the place, and of the generations of Mayo family members who lived there.
Finally, we zipped out to Winona for a “meet the artist” event at Calypso Artisan Market. The featured artist was quiltmaker Sara Gabrick, who has lots of cool items for sale at the market. Janet got some quilting advice from Sara while we were there. Owner Clare Schoenfelder always waits to welcome you. Here is Clare with Kristine Beck, our good friend from Kinstone. Spoiler alert: Clare, Sara, and Kristine are sisters :0)