Stay and play: Farmers markets spring into actionIt just wouldn’t be summer without those side carts along the street full of fresh produce.
It just wouldn’t be summer without those side carts along the street full of fresh produce.
Budding farmers and gardeners all over come to share their surplus bounties at farmers markets – where the savvy customer can pick up fresh veggies, fruit and plants dirt cheap.
New Richmond markets
New Richmond has three farmers markets: at the Hillside Concert Series at the Heritage Center, 1100 Heritage Drive, on Wednesdays, at Garden Expressions on Fridays and at the Flea Market at the Heritage Center on Saturdays.
Bill and Betty Komula from New Richmond have set up their produce stand at the Hillside concerts Wednesday evenings, starting at 6:30 p.m. They are veterans of the farmers markets, having gardened on their one-acre plot for more than 30 years.
“When our kids went to college, we thought that maybe we should keep up with this and it would be our retirement project,” Bill said, as he arranged potatoes, green beans and onions on a table.
“This is nice for people who can’t come on Saturday – that’s a bigger crowd,” Betty added.
The Hillside Series farmers market will run concurrent with the Hillside Concert Series until Aug. 19.
Garden Expressions at 2050 Hwy 65 in New Richmond is a new market that is open Fridays from 3-7 p.m.
Jonna Klucas, owner of Garden Expressions, said that customer requests prompted her to open the market.
“I’m hoping to get three to six vendors, mostly from New Richmond, Star Prairie and Somerset,” Klucas said. “I thought adding variety from other vendors would make it more attractive to the community.”
She said vendors can exhibit veggies, fruits, baked goods, preserves, etc. for $5 per evening or $25 for the season. The market will be open until Oct. 30.
The biggest market in New Richmond is the Saturday morning gathering in the parking lot of the Heritage Center. Starting at 7:30 a.m., vendors hawk vegetables, fruit and even plants.
Jennifer Garagiola of Glenwood City, has turned her green thumb into a profitable side business at the local farmers markets. She is a stay-at-home mother, and credits her mother with giving her an interest in plants.
“My mom and I have have a huge garden – vegetables and flower splotches all over,” Garagiola laughed. “I’m more into the plants, my mom is into veggies.”
In addition to cut flowers and potted plants, Garagiola also offers potted herbs such as rosemary, lime basil and peppermint.
The New Richmond Farmers Market at the Heritage Center runs Saturdays until mid-morning. The season will end Oct. 24.
Hammond has a farmers market on Fridays at the Hammond Library Community Park at 850 Davis Street from 3-6 p.m.
Although not as big as New Richmond’s markets, it still attracts passers-by, like Sharon Gross and her granddaughter Kaleigh Wink, 10.
“We live here and walk a lot – and we bought corn here last year and it’s usually good, so we ran home to get some money,” Gross said.
Herman (Sonny) Zuettel is from Hammond and has been selling produce from his two-acre farm in Amery, Roberts, New Richmond and Hammond.
“I’m third generation,” Zuettel said of his 50 years farming experience. “I’ve been to markets for many years – I’m retired, so this is my passion.”
Roberts farmers market is on Thursday evenings from 3-7 p.m. at Miller’s Corner near the intersection of TT/Cherry Lane/Hwy 65.
Dan Carlstrom was there selling his “Dan’s Sugar Bush” honey, among the other seven vendors selling plants, fruit and vegetables.
Carlstrom has been gathering honey since 2003, and has 400 taps in 300 trees. He said he gets about 102 gallons each year, so he sells the honey at farmers markets in Roberts, Hudson and River Falls.
The attraction of the farmers markets was summed up in a comment from a customer at a New Richmond farmers market.
“I just hope it’s more fresh than the store,” said Kirsten Aufderhar, New Richmond, as she walked to her car with five bags of produce.