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Farmers' market offers plenty

Little two-year-old Michael Boone was sure of one thing -- he wanted potatoes and he wasn't going home without them.

Luckily, mom Sara Thompson was listening, and so the family, including grandma Mary Jo McKenna who was visiting from Superior, Wis., went home from the first Woodbury Farmers' Market of the year with a box of potatoes firmly in hand.

Thompson, a Woodbury resident, said she came to the market throughout last season and was pleased to see it back in town.

"It's very good," she added. "The produce I think is a lot better than in the grocery store and the prices are very good."

The opening market of the 2008 season got off to a quiet start, with six or seven vendors selling strawberries, radishes, potatoes and meats at a handful of booths in the parking lot at Central Park on Sunday morning, June 22.

"We will be here every Sunday, and as the crops start to come in, more and more vendors will show up," explained market manager Gene Schwartz.

"We do fairly well out here. It depends on how much we have, and the competition, but the prices are all competitive and the products are all fresh."

The market has been operating in Woodbury for more than 10 years, moving from City Centre to Central Park about five years ago, after it outgrew the parking space available.

"Rain, snow, sleet or hail, we are here," said Schwartz. "I have been out here shoveling snow and in hail storms before... We are here, rain or shine."

For the kids, if fresh fruit and vegetables aren't their thing, there's always the option of a "mug mural."

That's face painting by any other name, with facial decorations by Brian McClelland, who says he offers service with warmth and wit.

And to everyone who passes the stand of the man with a self-painted whale on his forehead, he wishes, "Have a whale of a day!"

Visit the Woodbury Farmers' Market every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Central Park, Radio Drive.

For more information, log on to and click on "Locations and parking."