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Bites Nearby: It’s All Fresh At The Farmers Market

The fresh foods are good and plentiful at the Farmers Market in Woodbury.

On Sundays, make sure to take a stroll through the St. Paul for fresh food products, handpicked produce and farm-fresh meat.

Maple Syrup

Family owned Three Rivers Farm Maple Syrups are deliciously sweet and unique. 

“There are not many Minnesota based maple syrup companies,” said Andrew Hagemann, of Three Rivers Farm. “Every component of the Three Rivers Farm business is done in Elko, Minnesota, from the growing of the trees, to the producing and bottling of it.”

According to Hagemann, the company's most recent maple syrup creations are their flavored maple syrups. 

“Current flavors are available in cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, bourbon and bournilla (a blend of vanilla and bourbon flavorings),” Hagemann said.  

You can taste each of their syrup flavors from small sipping cups, as you would at a wine tasting. Begin with their original flavor and then progress to the cinnamon, vanilla, bournilla and lastly, the bourbon. 

“Our syrups are 100 percent natural, even our flavored syrups contain real vanilla, cinnamon sticks or freshly sliced ginger within the bottle itself,” said Hagemann. “Our syrup maker is careful not to let the added flavoring overpower the true maple flavor profile found naturally within our syrups.”

The cinnamon flavoring is like sipping on French toast in a bottle. Initially, the cinnamon flavor jumps out, but as Hagemann pointed out, the finish is all maple. Try it over warm caramel apple cobbler à la mode.

Aromatic, smooth, rich and sweet describes their vanilla flavored syrup. Pour it in your coffee, drizzle it over butternut squash, fresh baked pears and apples or on “hot off the grill” apple cinnamon pancakes.

Hagemann stated the bourbon flavored syrup does not contain any actual alcohol. The bourbon flavor is obtained by placing their original flavor syrup into empty bourbon casks and then aging the syrup in these casks for about three and a half months.  

At first sip, this full-bodied syrup has just a kick of bourbon to it and then immediately dissipates to maple. Try it as a glaze on grilled salmon, ribs or chicken.

The ginger syrup is very refreshing and clean on the palate, and is choice for any stir fry meat and vegetable concoctions. For those of you having a tough time deciding on which flavor to get, you can’t go wrong choosing the bournilla as it gives you two flavor profiles in one bottle. 

Fresh Picked Sweet Corn

If you love sweet corn, you had better get over to the market in the next few weeks, as there’s only about two to three weeks left to buy it this season.

“We always hope the season goes until the end of September, but it just depends on the  weather,” said Dan Jordan, of Jordan’s Ranch Woodbury.

Jordan said there are two types of sweet corn: SA and SE. SA’s have more sugar content and SE’s have less sugar. 

“I prefer the SE corn, as it tends to have more corn on it, the taste is better and it’s a way more tender corn when eating it.”

As far as buying corn, Jordan said husks are deceiving.

“The size and color of the corn are variety dependent. Some people like their corn a little younger, so the corn is not so deep in size and others like a deeper kernel that’s more mature.” 

Jordan said more mature corn tends to be darker and bigger in size. 

Megan Johnson, of Zywiec Farms, Cottage Grove, said when buying corn, make sure they’re full ear husks of corn. 

“When selecting corn, many people open the husk up. I don’t recommend taking a peek at the corn, as it stays way fresher when it’s in full husk and unopened,” said Johnson.   

The super sweet corn season runs from mid-July through about mid-September.  

Farm Fresh Meats

Offering free range meats, Bar 5 Meat and Poultry, has a great selection.

“We are family owned and operated and in our sixth generation of operating a hormone and antibiotic free poultry, beef, pork and lamb farm,” said owner John Wemeier. 

Wemeier currently owns and operates the farm with his wife Laura, and his four children. 

“Participating in the farmer’s markets allows consumers the opportunity to meet us in person, the people who are producing and processing their meats,” said Wemeier.  

If you call ahead and special order, Bar 5 can bring in to the market harder to find cuts like extra thick steaks, pork, lamb racks, crown roasts or standing ribs. Meats are vacuum sealed, too, for added freshness and easy travel.

“I get up at about 1:30 a.m. the day of the farmer’s market to fresh cut all of our meats that I bring in that day, so the meats at the farmer’s markets are same day fresh,” Wemeier said.

Since Bar 5 does everything from raising the meats to processing it all in their own USDA inspected plant, they are able to keep prices reasonable for their clients. For more information and special orders at Bar 5, call 507-964-5612. Bar 5 is located in Arlington, MN.

Bar 5 Meat and Poultry and Three Rivers Farm Maple Syrups are at the Woodbury farmer’s market until the end of October and then can be found at the downtown St. Paul Market from December-April every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  

On Sundays, the St. Paul Farmer’s Market is located at the Woodbury YMCA parking lot and runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October 30, 2011. For more information on the St. Paul Farmer’s Markets visit their website at www.stpaulfarmersmarket.com.

Next week, Patch will share the cool food finds found at the Oakdale Farmer’s Market.

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