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Farmers market to hold Art Day Saturday

Jane Carlstrom of A Tranquil Nook makes "dryer rocks," which are used to save drying time and soften clothes as they dry. The "rocks" are made of 100% wool and are biodegradable and eco-friendly. Submitted Photo

For hundreds of years, open-air markets have been a major part of life worldwide, a resurging trend that continues to grow.

Many families would make weekly trips to the outdoor markets to get their fresh fruits and vegetables and other food supplies for the week. Just before the markets open, the air would be filled with excitement and anticipation as the merchants and street vendors would come together and put out their finest. Farmers would provide fresh produce, ranchers would bring all that the mind could imagine, and artists, crafters, cobblers and clothiers would provide everything from pots and pans to beautiful silks. Everything one could want or need could be found at the markets.

Jane Carlstrom of A Tranquil Nook is an artist of fabrics and fiber products ranging from hats and jewelry to other art and home décor. Carlstrom is a weekly art vendor and Art Day Committee chairwoman for Bemidji's Natural Choice Farmer's Market in the Union Square in downtown Bemidji.

Bemidji's Natural Choice Farmers Market will host Art Day at Farmers Market from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Union Square in downtown Bemidji.

"Farmers markets are a place to not only provide healthy foods, but also a partnership between our local growers and our community," Carlstrom said. "The same goes for our local artists. It's a unique experience to meet the person who grew your foods or made your art."

Farmers markets worldwide becomes tourist destinations as well as a practical shopping marts.

"The products we sell at Bemidji's Natural Choice Farmers Market are all grown or made by people living within 40 miles of Bemidji," Carlstrom said. "We also strive to use local sourcing."

Jeana Johnson, a local soap maker, gets her tallow from the bison at Paradise Valley, run by Duane Hayes, and her beeswax from Kroeger and Rixen Farm, both farmers market vendors.

Much of Carlstrom's wool for her art comes from Bemidji Woolen Mills.

"We desire to bring our markets back to the good old days where if you grow it or make it, you have a place to sell it locally," she said. "Farmers markets are a family-friendly Saturday event where you can find fresh produce, homemade foods, fine handcrafts and beautiful art, direct from your neighbors. Our market started in 2010 and has been growing each year."

The vendors at Bemidji's Natural Choice Farmers Market work on a small scale. This allows them to give great attention to everything they create, produce or grow. They work from a place of passion, and this is seen in their faces, their eyes and most importantly, what they bring to the markets.

"We welcome all to our market," Carlstrom said. "Bring your favorite chair and listen to live music, do your weekend shopping, find gourmet foods, ask questions from the folks who are growing your food and about their practices or if they have a favorite recipe for what they grow. Indulge in fine arts and crafts at reasonable prices and one of a kind items."

For more information on art from A Tranquil Nook, contact Carlstrom at