Farm flavors flourish in Zumbrota
By Sandy Hadler, contributor
ZUMBROTA — Tuesday evenings at East Park are busy. At 4 p.m. the farmers market comes alive. People stop by to shop for organic eggs and fresh produce, herbs, canned vegetables, grass fed beef, flowers, and homemade baked goods. Soon a variety of fresh garden vegetables will be available.
This is the first year Karen Carlson, who lives on a 10-acre hobby farm 15 miles north of Rochester, has sold perennial and annual flowers at the Zumbrota Market.
“For a small town, sales are pretty good. There is a nice community atmosphere here, especially with the bands playing. It is laid back and relaxing,” she said.
Another draw this year is the sale of wood fired pizza made by Stephan Jennebach of Zumbrota, who was born and raised in Germany and went through a professional apprenticeship at a family-owned bakery in Mondorf, Germany. Jennebach then worked as a bakery production manager at Daube Bakery in Rochester.
In 2011, at his new home in Zumbrota, he built a wood-fired brick oven. He branched out this year to include five types of pizzas, with a number of specialty pizzas that he offers on a rotational basis.
It takes anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes to take an order, add the toppings and bake the pizza, depending upon how long the lines are. The pizzas have become a very popular item at the market.
“People are appreciative of good food,” Jennebach said.
He also sells his breads, including cranberry walnut sour dough and whole wheat flax seed, along with premade pizza crusts at the market.
Jennebach sells pizzas, but not bread, at the Red Wing Farmers Market Saturday mornings.
He said, “I try to catch people as they are leaving and ask if they like the pizza and I’ve gotten good reviews. I joke that in Minnesota they probably wouldn’t tell me the truth anyway.”
Jennebach said until this year, the market in Zumbrota was open from noon until 6 p.m. on Mondays. Those who sell at the market decided it would be a good idea to move it to Tuesdays and to remain open until 8 p.m. to overlap with Music in the Park.
Music in the Park is sponsored by local businesses and the Zumbrota Area Arts Council, who hand out ice cream half-way through the performances. After the summer music performances end, Jennebach said promoters of the farmers market are planning to incorporate other types of entertainment during market hours.
Road construction will begin on East Avenue soon, so the farmers market and Music in the Park will be relocated to the lawn at United Redeemer Church, 560 W. Third St.