It's August, the harvest month, meaning that tomatoes, corn, melons and other late-season garden foods are starting to peak and are being sold at farmers markets all over Washington County.

"What we see happening at the farmers markets is communities getting together, really spending time together," said David Regan, who manages a new market in Mahtomedi. "At the end of the day, that's what we're achieving."

Farmers markets, always known for homegrown bounty, have become cultural destinations as well with a growing number of artisans selling their wares under colorful umbrellas. Saturday morning markets in Mahtomedi, for example, feature six vendors selling arts and crafts. The market also has a club for children named Fresh Kids, and educational workshops for adults to learn about topics such as rain gardens, perennials and buckthorn.

Farther to the north in Scandia, at that city's spanking-new farmers market, homemade lotions and Adirondack chairs will be sold alongside honey, vegetables, jams and even wine.

The market, which made its inaugural appearance last week, is a joint venture between the City of Scandia and Gammelgården Museum. It opens every Wednesday through September from 4-7 p.m.

"We hope the residents from Scandia will get out there to support it," said Laurie Monson, the city's recreation coordinator.

Washington County has as many as 10 farmers markets with others nearby in cities such as White Bear Lake, Lindstrom and Maplewood. For locations and times, see a listing in the calendar on Page 3.


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