Maria’s Taco Hut

Summer Vegetables, Fresh Flowers, Open Air Painting, and Mexican Folk Dance at Saturday’s Riverwalk Market Fair

Fresh summer vegetables and flowers, Plein Air painting, and Mexico Folklorico (Mexican folk dance) will be featured this Saturday, August 10 at Northfield’s Riverwalk Market Fair.

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

Wide selection of summer produce available at Riverwalk Market Fair this Saturday

Wide selection of summer produce available at Riverwalk Market Fair this Saturday

Summer produce season is in full swing.  Expect to find fresh flowers, kale, zucchini, summer squash, carrots, onions, broccoli, potatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, hot peppers, bell peppers, cabbage, and eggs produced by local farmers.  News on the tomato watch: Farmers will have cherry tomatoes as well as some slicing tomatoes if the weather is favorable.  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 and wholesome Mexican food.

Watercolors, photographs, handcrafted leather goods, ceramics, glass art, hand crafted accessories, and jewelry are among the art and fine crafts for sale.  (For a complete list of the vendors scheduled for this Saturday visit

Maria Estrada and husband Rafael of Maria's Taco Truck

Maria Estrada and husband Rafael of Maria’s Taco Truck

Featured Food Artist: Maria’s Taco Hut

A few weeks ago Maria Estrada tried out her new vegetable and cheese tamales at Riverwalk Market Fair.  They sold out.  Made with organic corn meal, olive oil, sautéed bell peppers, onions, and cheese, Maria’s tamales are a wholesome variation on the calorie heavy original version, traditionally made with lard.  Maria, husband Rafael, and daughter Gabby also serve up a popular breakfast burrito, a wonderful beef and bean burrito, and tasty gluten free or vegetarian entrees.  Maria plans to add a meat version of her wholesome tamales soon.  Watch for them.

Maria and Rafael’s first food truck was a homemade wooden affair they bought and upgraded with commercial equipment in 2003.  Soon they were accepted as a Defeat of Jesse James Days food vendor and had long lines at their truck.  By 2005 they upgraded to their current food truck and were seen at events throughout southern Minnesota and Wisconsin and also operated Maria’s Restaurant on the corner of Highway 3 and 2nd Street in Northfield.  In addition to her food truck, Maria now caters lunches at St. Dominic’s school, Arcadia, and the Northfield Rotary club.

Featured Artist: David Peterson, Turned Wood Bowls

David Peterson with some of  his turned wood bowls at Riverwalk Market Fair

David Peterson with some of his turned wood bowls at Riverwalk Market Fair

 David Peterson creates turned wooden bowls.  Peterson’s background is in manufacturing: he made steel wheels.  What do steel wheels and wooden bowls have in common?  “Well,” David says, “they are both round.”  For a particularly nice piece of wood Peterson will cut from it several nested blocks, in progressively smaller sizes, and so get several bowls from the same block of wood.  Peterson’s wood comes from trees he harvests himself, or from wood brought to him by others.  Local nurseryman Leif Knecht sometimes brings nice wood specimens from trees he is asked to remove from properties.

Peterson turns the outside of a bowl first, leaving a “truck” at the bottom that he can clamp to.  Then with the truck held in a vice, he turns the inside of the bowl.  Finally he cuts the truck from the bottom and finishes.

What sorts of food are Peterson bowls used for?  “Salad, cut and fresh fruit, nuts and candy.  If they get wet, clean and rinse with soap water and wipe dry.  Wipe occasionally with mineral oil,” explains David.

Members of Mexican Folklorico perform at Cinco de Mayo

Members of Mexican Folklorico perform at Cinco de Mayo

Folk Dancing by the Mexican Folklorico and Plein Air Painting by Marsha Kitchel

Mexican folkdances with audience participation will be presented by the Mexican Folklorico of Northfield.  Ana Baez, Kate Stuart, and Linda Burdell lead this Northfield Arts Guild program, where they teache dances that feature sharp, rhythmic heel stomping and interesting visual patterns.  Come watch and participate in folkdances from the various regions of Mexico.

Hvistendahl, Moersch, Dorsey & Hahn law office from Northfield's Bridge Square by artist Marsha Kitchel

Hvistendahl, Moersch, Dorsey & Hahn law office from Northfield’s Bridge Square by artist Marsha Kitchel

Marsha Kitchel, a past vendor and Riverwalk Market Fair favorite, will spend the next two Saturday mornings creating a painting of a view from Bridge Square.  Marsha is known for her lovely images of downtown Northfield and of the Cannon River.  Come and watch Marsha create a painting in real time.

About Riverwalk Market Fair

Riverwalk Market Fair is a Saturday open-air market located on Bridge Square in historic downtown Northfield.  This one-of-a-kind European-style market is open Saturdays from June through October. Each Saturday features a different combination of organic and sustainably grown produce from local farmers, artisan foods, seasonal flowers and a juried selection of the region’s top art and fine crafts including ceramics, art works, prints, photography, glasswork, textiles, wearable art, garden sculpture and hand-crafted jewelry.  Hours are 9 am to 1 pm rain or shine.  For more information, visit Riverwalk Market Fair at

Saturday, September 29: Riverwalk Market Overflows withLocal Food, Art and Song

Fall harvest is in full swing at Riverwalk Market Fair and Fair-goers can now shop for fresh, locally grown pumpkins, squashes, root vegetables, apples, kale and other produce. In addition, visitors can nosh on Mexican foods, take in luscious landscape photography, sing along to live music and listen to a 12-piece band. Visitors to the Fair will also have the opportunity to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and get better acquainted with local community organizations.

Featured Food Artisan: Maria Estrada

Maria’s Taco Hut is featured this week at Riverwalk Market Fair. Run by local chef Maria Estrada, Maria’s Taco Hut serves freshly prepared Mexican specialties from the family’s red food truck. Since 2005, the red truck has served food at events throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Estrada’s husband, Rafael and daughter, Gabi, 13, help with the family business. Every Saturday at Riverwalk Market Fair visitors can enjoy foods made-to-order including breakfast burritos and quesadillas made filled with locally grown foods as well delicious soups. Estrada also caters corporate and college events along with special occasions including weddings.

 Featured Artist: Dennis McClintock

Featured Artist and Northfield resident Dennis McClintock ( has displayed his crisp, painterly photographic images at Riverwalk Market Fair for the past three years. McClintock photographs landscapes, historical buildings, nature scenes and wildlife. Recently his work was featured in the Northfield Arts Guild gallery’s “Northfield Ties” exhibit.

Youth Booth: Three entrepreneurial ventures

Mari Hougen-Eitzman will be selling honey and vegetables from her family’s organic farm, Big Woods Farm, in Nerstrand. Bella Smith and Bella Callery operating as Bella & Bella (pictured above) will sell homemade dog treats, and the Northfield Union of Youth (the Key) will sell it’s homemade dog treats and cat toys.


Friend of the Market

Accelerate Northfield The goal of Accelerate Northfield ( is to close Northfield’s academic achievement gap by matching volunteer tutors with struggling students. Families are encouraged to stop by the Welcome Tent to create marbled paper bookmarks. The activity is free.

 Musical Entertainment

Jim Rosso and Neil Rowley (pictured above) will bring out the kid in everyone as they sing and tell stories at the Fair, while musicians Dan Bergerson and a dozen of his friends will play tunes for all ages. The friends include: Michael Berger, Laurie Brackee, Wes Braker, Zach Evenson, Mary Hakes, Seth Hanson, Henry Jokela, Nancy Kmoch, Gary Meidt, Phil Peterson and Jesse Streitz.