The “Local Foods, Local Places” initiative in Pelican Rapids is bearing fruit—and vegetables and other stuff. 

The weekly downtown Farmers Market, which debuted in late June, now has about 11 vendors—with more likely on the way as harvest season nears. 

“The market is doing a decent volume for a town this size,” said Emily Reno, coordinator of the Local Foods, Local Places program in the Pelican area. 

A number of the vendors sold out of product in recent weeks. The Rengsdorf-Breen local bison ranch, for example, sold out of packaged bison meat two weeks straight.

The farm markets are each Friday, from 3-6 p.m. in downtown Pelican Rapids, in the open lot next to Big John’s Pelican Pizza.

The Local Foods, Local Places initiative is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture—with administrative support from West Central Initiative. 

Goals include: 

• More opportunities for local farmers, growers and businesses

• Better access to healthy, local food

• Revitalized downtowns, main streets and neighborhoods 

In related matters, the city also endorsed a proposal to bring Minnesota Green Corps and VISTA workers to Pelican Rapids. 

Among the objectives will be enhancing the city’s community garden program; advancement of the farm market; and a food fair in 2022. 

An example of VISTA projects include New Roots based in Dilworth, which is assisting immigrants from Bhutan, Congo and Burundi in promoting sustainable food systems.