By Sue Moore
Beginning Friday, May 17 and every Friday stretching through September, great locally produced vegetables, fruits, bread, homemade soaps, cut flowers, beefalo, pork and eggs will be on sale from 2-6 p.m. at the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market at the Pavilion on N. Richardson Street.
“Folks want to attend a farmers’ market because the offerings have arrived from less than 50 miles around, rather than 2,000 miles,” said John Kern as he addressed the vendors at their inaugural meeting of the season in April. “What’s locally grown and picked could be put side by side with what’s traveled from afar in your stall as a demonstration of the quality you provide. That could make a great taste test for your customers,” he explained.
Kern, now a member of the market’s board of directors, has been a loyal customer of the market for the last three years, once he and his wife arrived in the village. “I shop at the market because the food has fewer chemicals, more taste and I can speak with each vendor to understand how they have been growing their products and the non-food items that are custom made.”
A new wrinkle at the market this spring, when fewer vegetables and fruits are ready for harvest, will be the students from Vicksburg High School’s Horticultural science class as vendors. They will be selling plants they have grown in the school’s greenhouse along with fresh and dried herbs for the first two weeks of the market.
Other vendors will showcase the maple syrup they produced this spring, honey gathered from local bees, meat and pork that has been raised on local farms and homemade bread from Didik Soekarmoen’s bakery ovens. The traditional cookies, cupcakes, cakes and pies, all homemade, will be on sale beginning the very first week when the veggie vendors are waiting impatiently for asparagus and rhubarb to sprout.
Kids Plate, started by Carol LaFrance eight years ago, will now be offered each week by Carol Meyer-Niedzwiecki’s army of volunteers. “We intend to give kids a taste of fresh veggies and fruit in all manners of recipes so they can learn some new tastes,” Meyer-Niedzwiecki pointed out. Individual tomato plants were given out last year for Kids Plate in hopes they would even grow their own. The plants were donated by Foxy Acres and Ruthie Dorrance taught the kids how to plant them.
Wine sales were added to the mix in 2018 and Lawton Ridge Winery will be back in 2019. Plans for the 2nd annual Farm to Table dinner on Saturday, August 17 are in the works by the board of directors of the market. That includes Stella Shearer, president; Sheila Buitenhius, vice-president; Kim Klein, treasurer; Kay Anderson, secretary; Bret Green, John Kern and Amy Manchester as trustees. Meg Daly is serving as the new market co-manager handling the daily duties and the paperwork. Double Up Food Bucks, Generous Hands coupons, Bridge Cards and Senior Fresh coupons are accepted at the market. The Makers Market that began two years ago will run every first Friday of the month.