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Farmers Market in Lanesboro open for business


Fri, May 23rd, 2003
Posted in Features

This man was shopping for hanging plants at the Lanesboro Farmers Market on Thursday.

"I’m very excited about buying food for my family from friends and neighbors," said Liz Dybing, volunteer Lanesboro Farmers Market manager. "I believe this market has the potential to strengthen our local economy and to serve as support for our community." She paused. "I dream of seeing the parking lot full of vendors and people purchasing their goods."

"What if it rains?" I asked.

"Bring umbrellas and cover the baked goods," she chuckled.

Doris Dybing was one of the four vendors at the very first market on May 15. When Doris set up her table of baked goods, the only other Farmer’s Market she had ever attended was in Norway.

"That market was so colorful and festive," she recalled. Her involvement in the Lanesboro market began when her daughter-in-law, Heidi Dybing suggested that Doris set up a table and sell her homemade baked goods. It took less than an hour for Doris to sell all of her dark and light buns, her coffee bread and frosted cookies.

"Only a couple jars of black cap jelly were left for the late-comers," Doris said. "You know everybody enjoys baked goods."

About 20 consumers turned out to purchase local produce on the first day of the market.

"I’m hopeful this Farmers Market will become a social event," Deb Fendry from Summer Hill Family Farm said. "As a family we’ve been involved in the Rochester Farmers Market for several years and we’ve watched how friendships between farm families and consumers grow."

Deb, her husband Hugh, along with their son Matt and their two daughters, Rebecca and Sarah run their Summer Hill Family Farm. At age 14 Matt decided he wanted to be an organic farmer. Everyone in the family joined in and now they milk 20 plus cows, raise sheep, sell eggs, tend their greenhouse and take care of numerous gardens. "We plan on selling all of our products, including fresh fruits, vegetables and cut flower bouquets at the Lanesboro market," Deb said. "Our greatest reward is the close relationships we’ve developed as a result of working together as a family."

Mike Zawislak brought an extraordinary collection of perennial plants to the market. His plants included Asiatic lily, Siberian iris, yarrow, sedem and geraniums.

"It’s my hope that as word about this new market gets out that it will grow and help rural and city people connect," Mike said.

Jerilyn Eddy came to the market to find out how she could become a vendor. "I believe in the old saying, ‘waste not—want not," she said. "I love gardening and we grow far more than our family can possibly use. I look forward to bringing cherries, wild plums, crab apples, raspberries, black berries, grapes, fresh rosemary, lavender, oregano and thyme as well as ever-changing flower arrangements to this market."

I too tested the water by bringing one of our family favorite goodies to market. For over 20 years I’ve been making a leather from rhubarb. It’s like a fruit Roll-Up, but instead of using applesauce as a base I use rhubarb. What has always surprised me about my rhubarb leather is how much everyone, including kids, like it.

However, instead of calling it rhubarb leather, I call it rhubarb lace, because as the puree dries, in some places, it becomes almost transparent. At the first market my strawberry-rhubarb was the most popular with apple-cinnamon-rhubarb and cranberry-rhubarb tying for second place and strawberry-ginger-rhubarb came in last.

If you’d like to have an alternative for your neglected rhubarb, you can get my basic rhubarb recipe by checking out my web page at www.drystore.com and click on "The Dry Woman Speaks Newsletter" button.

Over 30 years ago I attended the very first farmers market in Madison, Wisconsin. For years I watched as it grew into one of the biggest and most successful markets in the country. My hope for our new market is that it will foster creativity, build relationships and help us to use otherwise underutilized, wasted crops.

Vendors who sell at the Lanesboro Farmers Market must sign a contract stipulating that they will sell locally grown products. They must also show proof of liability insurance and pay a $25 annual fee. For more information on how to become a vendor at the Lanesboro Farmers Market contact Liz Dybing at 467-2330.

The Lanesboro Farmers Market will take place in Sylvan Park every Thursday from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. through September.

Editor’s note: Chatfield also has a Growers Market that operates from May to October at the City Park on Thursdays from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

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