Today, I went to Grand Island’s winter farmers’ market at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Chili was being served, and a variety of products were available for sale, as well. The displays were cheery and colorful and served to entice people to buy local when purchasing food.
At this time of year, the fields lie dormant, underneath a pile of wet, slushy snow. So that limits the amount of fresh produce being sold at the market. Other things were sold, including skin care products, meats, jams, jellies, maple syrup, and baked goods.
Today, I talked to some of the farmers who had tables at the market and asked each what made them happiest about farming and about the market. Here are their stories:
|Nick and his grandmother|
Nick Bauman, age 16: I have been a farmer for two or three years. I like that I can do it on my own schedule. I sell eggs and I have one beehive. I have three goats, and I’m trying to build a herd of goats. I have 50 chickens.
Kadi Barnes (Lunar Wild Organics): I just like to make other people happy. I like to help people, to show people that they can create their own skin care from things in their garden.
What do you like best about working on your farm?
I have a crazy red squirrel and woodpeckers in the yard. I am always outside growing things or hiking.
Tim and Sue Hanlon: We sell maple syrup. It’s our own product. There is nothing added to it. (Tim) I learned from my brother and my uncle. My father helped with the mechanical process. It is a family tradition, which I hope to pass on to our four children.
John Pedlow, who builds and sells tables and who also sells eggs: I feel the satisfaction to being doing something that is away from mass production/mass marketing. I enjoy creating a quality product that I know is going to last. For many, it’s all about the buck. I’d rather build a quality product and sell it once.
I get fourteen to fifteen eggs a day. They would include a variety of browns, four whites, and one green. There are so many breeds of chicken. Why not have several of each and get the variety of colored egg shell? It is a fun way to introduce the kids to the idea that there are other things than a white egg.
Tom & Wendy Thompson, who sell eggs, meats, fudge, jams, jellies, and chocolate milk: (Tom) I like meeting people and talking to them. (Wendy) I like to see people enjoying the stuff that we make.
Sandy of CNSB Farms, who sells garlic and onions: My husband and I do it together. I do it because he loves it. It helps our relationship and brings us closer together.
I left the farmers market with garlic, onions, and orange marmalade. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon.
I saw friends and neighbors at the farmers market and, like Tom, I enjoyed meeting people and talking to them. I also liked seeing green eggs, which is kind of a novelty.
The next Grand Island farmers market is scheduled for the first Sunday in March at the Knights of Columbus Hall. The hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.