Farmers market adds extended-season vegetablesAbout five farmers set up tents at CityWalk on Wednesdays, including 10th Street Farm and Market located three miles east of Woodbury. Lisa and Hallie Talbott make up the team that decided to join the Woodbury market in addition to selling at the St. Paul winter market.
By: Riham Feshir, Woodbury Bulletin
“What are these?” asked 7-year-old Caden Whinnery as he pointed at fresh zucchini spread out neatly at the farmers market.
“Zucchini,” answered his mom Amy Whinnery. “Should we get some?”
“I’ll try them,” Caden said without hesitation.
The Whinnerys visited the Wednesday Farmers Market at CityWalk in Woodbury on its opening day of the season last week.
The St. Paul Farmers Market has vendors selling at the YMCA on Sundays and Wednesdays at CityWalk.
The Wednesday market opened about four years ago to attract more of the foot traffic, St. Paul Farmers Market manager Jack Gerten said.
“The one on Wednesday in Woodbury is more of an impulse market,” he said. “People shopping in the area might stop by, compared to the one on Sunday (where) you’re getting the true residents in Woodbury.”
Amy Whinnery, of Woodbury, said she likes that all foods are fresh and locally grown, so she makes it a habit to shop at the Farmers Market as often as she can.
“I like the kids to see where the food comes from … carrots aren’t just packaged in a bag,” she said.
About five farmers set up tents at CityWalk on Wednesdays, including 10th Street Farm and Market located three miles east of Woodbury.
Lisa and Hallie Talbott make up the team that decided to join the Woodbury market in addition to selling at the St. Paul winter market.
“There is not a whole lot of co-op or natural food stores,” in Woodbury, Hallie Talbott said, adding that they specialize in extended season crops that are produced in a high tunnel environment.
Since they began selling in March, 10th Street Farm and Market has been extending the seasons a little further by moving the high tunnel in different locations that help the crops grow.
“It’s about utilizing the natural power of the sun and what’s around you to push our seasons,” Talbott said.
The high tunnel maintains a 50 to 55-degree temperature most of the time, she said, and it allows the farm to produce organic peppers and eggplants at this time of year.
“I think it’s an exciting time to be in food with everything that’s going on with the organic movement,” she said.
Lois Erkkila of Woodury decided to stop by the CityWalk market last Wednesday, although she usually shops on Sundays at the YMCA market.
“I grew up on a farm and enjoyed fresh vegetables,” she said. “I think I get more vitamins and minerals too.”
Gerten said Woodbury’s first market started out at the City Hall parking lot more than 10 years ago.
Then the demand grew to the point that it made more sense to move it to the Central Park-YMCA location.
Access to the two landmarks makes it easy to find the market as well, he said, whereas the CityWalk market maybe a little less recognizable.
Markets in locations similar to the Woodbury Sunday market “grow a little faster just because people in the community recognize where it’s at,” Gerten said.
But regulars shop there regardless of location, he added.
“I think people too are getting more aware of the benefits of eating local and just the benefits of eating more vegetable and fruit,” Gerten said.
The produce must come from within a 50-mile radius. The Farmers Market allows for one-on-one interactions with the vendors.
“You can talk to the person who raised them,” he said, adding, “we offer knowledge too on problems people have with their own garden.”
The Sunday Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the YMCA and the Wednesday market is open from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at CityWalk.