Humble Pie Farm

Rootsy Blues Music, Fabric Bags & Pillows, and Fresh Flowers at Saturday’s Riverwalk Market Fair

Kids Activities at Riverwalk

Kids Activities.

Northfield’s Riverwalk Market Fair, Saturday July 5 from 9 am to 1 pm – rain or shine.
Located Downtown on Bridge Square.

Early Summer Produce, Strawberries, Artisan Foods, Art and Fine Craft

Farmers have summer produce such as fresh-picked salad greens, spinach, snap beans, snow peas, radishes, broccoli, zucchini, Asian

Summer Vegetables.

Local and organic summer produce.

cabbage, kohlrabi, cucumber, kale, and herbs, along with eggs, and flowers.  Strawberries are available.  Get them while you can as this week could be the last of the season’s strawberries at Riverwalk, depending on weather.  Artisan foods include fresh-baked breads and delicious sweet and savory pastries, jams, jellies, and pickles.

Watercolors, handcrafted leather goods, ceramics, fused glass art, fiber art, hand crafted accessories, and jewelry are among the art and fine crafts for sale. (See sidebar for list of this week’s vendors)

Natural, Bohemian Style Flower Bouquets from Humble Pie Farms

Flower bouquet by Humble Pie Farm

Flower bouquet by Humble Pie Farm

It’s not too early for sunflower bouquets because Humble Pie Farm started their sunflowers in a greenhouse early this spring. Flowers coming up in the next few weeks are sweet william, snapdragon, herbs, and dahlias. Mike Leck and Jennifer Nelson create bouquets in a natural, bohemian design style that showcases the spectacular beauty of fresh, seasonal flowers. Humble Pie Farm also sells flowers at through the Wedge Coop and creates celebrations in flowers for weddings. Mike and Jennifer are proud to grow local and organic flowers that are free of the chemicals that drench most commercial flowers that are grown thousands of miles away. Flowers bring an abundance of beneficial insects and birds and diversity of soil food to the two organic vegetable farms that share land with Humble Pie Farms.

Laptop bag in upholstery fabric by Nancy Stroessner of Prairie Sun Design

Laptop bag in upholstery fabric by Nancy Stroessner of Prairie Sun Design

Fabric Bags, Aprons, and Pillows from Prairie Sun Design

Nancy Stroessner’s handbags are made from upholstery fabric and without hardware.  “I wanted to make them very lightweight,” she says. In addition to purses, wallets, and aprons look for Nancy’s pillows in vintage fabric from the 1950s and 1960s. Hand applique word pillows feature “Lake,” “Hello,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Bella Fortuna,” “La Vie en Rose” and others, and Nancy will make a custom pillow with names or special words. Besides creating fabric art, Nancy is also Riverwalk Market Fair’s able market manager.

Rootsy Rocking Folk Blues Musician Matt Arthur and Youth Activity by Budding Farmers

Matt Arthur, a fiercely contrarian Southern Minnesota blind man with a voice that calls to mind

Matt Arthur brings rootsy, country, rocking folk and blues to Riverwalk.

Rootsy, country, rocking folk and blues music by Matt Arthur.

Johnny Cash, John Darnielle, and Nick Cave, will perform solo at Riverwalk Market Fair this Saturday.

Heavy on My Mind, Matt’s latest album with bandmates the Bratlanders, is awash in vintage Hammond organ, and the lean core of the band is fleshed out with pedal steel, barrelhouse piano, cello, violin, harmonium, and haunting harmony vocals. Come hear Matt performing covers and original songs from his album in his own

Egg Buddies with wheatgrass hair

Egg Buddies with wheatgrass hair

distinctive solo style at Riverwalk.

Monica Irwin of Budding Farmers, will help children make “Egg Buddies,” eggshells decorated with googly eyes and markers and planted with wheatgrass seeds for green hair. Budding Farmers teaches kids about healthy real food by providing fun program materials to preschool and elementary school children throughout the summer.

Summer Vegetables, Fresh Flowers, Art Photography and a Brass Band at Saturday’s Riverwalk Market Fair

Fresh summer flowers, lovely art photographs, and a brass band will be featured this Saturday, July 27 at Northfield’s Riverwalk Market Fair.  Kids can “Bang, Blow, and Toot” on brass band instruments courtesy of St. Olaf College’s Manitou Regimental Brass Band.  At 11 am and noon be alert for a surprise entertainment.  Watch carefully or you might not see it flash by.

Seasonal Produce From Local Farmers, Artisan Foods, Art and Fine Craft

Summer produce season is in full swing.  Expect to find kale, salad greens, zucchini, summer squash, scallions, broccoli, beets, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, hot peppers, bell peppers, Napa cabbage, and eggs grown by local farmers.  Artisan foods include a variety of fresh-baked breads, pastries, tarts and quiches from Martha’s Eats and Treats, Crack of Dawn Artisan Breads, Rebecca’s Greek Kouzina, and Archibald Mills.  Maria’s Taco Hut serves freshly made Mexican food.

Watercolors, photographs, handcrafted leather goods, ceramics, glass art, hand crafted accessories, and jewelry are among the art and fine crafts for sale.

Earl rides along as Mike Lech hoes flower beds at Humble Pie Farm

Earl rides along as Mike Lech hoes flower beds at Humble Pie Farm

Featured Farmer: Humble Pie Farm

Fresh flowers that “nourish the spirit” are the specialty of Jennifer Nelson and Mike Lech of Humble Pie Farm.  Humble Pie Farm’s colorful Riverwalk booth includes sunflowers, stunning double ruffle cosmos, zinnias, Irish bells, and tall snapdragons, grown using organic methods.  Mike says the flowers are growing well after a slow start.  “Plenty of rain, along with recent sunny, hot days have made for a great crop.”  Mike and Jennifer create bouquets of simple, full, bohemian design, allowing the natural beauty and symmetry of the flowers to shine.

Mike and Jennifer are farming their own plot for the first time this year through the Organic Field School, an incubator program that helps farmers transition to owning their own operations.  Through the Field School, Mike and Jennifer rent and work a ¼ acre plot of flowers and rent a tractor and other equipment.  This gives them a chance to build their own proven income stream and track record while they work up to buying farmland of their own.

Mike and Jennifer are joined this year by new farmer and vendor Earl, aged 6½ months, who loves riding is the backpack while Dad weeds the family flowers.

Featured Artist: Patsy Dew Pix

Self portrait by Patsy Dew.

Self portrait by Patsy Dew.

Patsy Dew looks for inspiration and a distinct play of light in her photographs.  A milkweed plant filtered through Patsy’s camera becomes a 4th of July fireworks starburst, the silk threads glowing light filaments.  Some photos turn into journal books, or intricate folded Turkish puzzles that open to reveal images within.  Others become boxes with surprises when you lift the lid.  One has a florescent green and red bug hidden inside.  Patsy tells the bug and flowers thank you when she takes their pictures.  Maybe that’s what makes the green bug and the milkweed glow.

The Manitou Regimental Brass Band

The Manitou Regimental Brass Band wil host a “Bang, Blow, and Toot” activity for kids.

Bang, Blow, and Toot kids activity by the Manitou Regimental Brass Band

The Manitou Regimental Brass Band returns to Riverwalk Market Fair at 11 pm to play vintage and classic brass band music.  If you imagine “loud” when you think brass band, think again.  Expect sweet music from the 19th and 20th centuries.  The Bridge Square Band opens Riverwalk’s Saturday entertainment at 9:30.  And if you like these bands, be ready for a banquet of band music a week from Saturday when The Vintage Band Festival comes to Riverwalk Market Fair.

Ever wanted to try playing a bugle?  Kids can “Bang, Blow, and Toot” on brass instruments this Saturday at Riverwalk.  Learn to buzz on a mouthpiece or make a great big tuba sound courtesy of the Manitou Regimental Brass Band.


Every Riverwalk Saturday brings something new and surprising.  This Saturday be alert for a surprising bit of fun at 11 am and 12 noon.  Be alert.  You never know what or who might flash by.