Farmers’ market to open

By William Thompson

The Quay County farmers’ market opens at 5 p.m. Saturday at Wailes Park with live bluegrass music. The market will open at 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer, according to local manager Bobbie Defoor.
“The market usually starts out slowly but more people participate as the summer moves along,” Defoor said. “In early July we usually have some squash and tomatoes. We have two tomato vendors that bring many boxes of tomatoes.”
Defoor said the market typically features fresh vegetables, fruit, jams, jellies, baked goods and eggs. The local farmers’ market is part of a statewide organization of farmers’ markets.
“The farmers aren’t going to get rich off what they sell at the markets,” Defoor said. “The prices vary according to how many vendors we have. If there were only one tomato vendor then that vendor could set any price they want.”
Defoor said many local mothers come to the farmers’ market.
“The WIC (Women, Infants and Children) office gives special checks to mothers during the summer so they can purchase food from the farmers’ markets,” Defoor said. “The checks are only good for food from farmers’ markets because the federal government wants mothers to buy more fresh produce.”
Pam Tompkins of the local WIC office said women signed up with WIC will receive 10 checks of $2 each for use at the farmers market.
Pat Evans sells produce at the market with her husband, children and grandchildren.
“There are really big crowds when those WIC checks come out,” Evans said.
Greenhouse tomatoes will be the Evans family specialty when the market opens Saturday.
“We’ll eventually have four different kinds of watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupes and squash,” Evans said. “We all pull our pickups into the park, line them up in a row and sell our produce. The money we make from the farmers’ market keeps us going through the winter months.”
Defoor said in the past as many as 15 booths have been rented out at any given time. The cost for renting booth or table space is $5. Farmers can register on any day the market is open.
Defoor said farmers and consumers will be able to keep up with changes at the market by visiting the market’s Web site:
www.tucumcarifarmersmarket.com