Community members will have the opportunity to get some exercise, buy maple syrup and the freshest of fruits and vegetables as they support the local economy at the inaugural farmers’ market in the Village of Marshall. It begins Sunday, May 26 from 8 a.m. to noon at Marshall Fireman’s Park. This will be a weekly event each Sunday until Sept. 1.
Market coordinators, Scott Michalak and John Lutz, secured 18 vendors, many from the Waterloo and Marshall area.
Farmers’ Markets are a popular activity in the local communities, and there are many reasons to support them. According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are more than 8,400 markets in the nation, and they have been a dramatic increase of 180% from 2006 to 2014 with a modest increase since then.
According to the USDA, more than 150,000 farmers are selling fresh products directly to customers. Most of the products sold are less than 50 miles away while products in retail stores often come from much further away.
According to the Center of Urban Education and Sustainable Agriculture, food in the United States often travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to the consumer, which uses a huge amount of natural resources, requires travel costs and packaging materials.
Three out of four farmers who sell at the markets meet or exceed organic standards, according to the Farmers Market Coalition and American Farmland Trust.
The majority of farmers use soil health practices that are environment-friendly.
Studies have shown that 70% of farmers’ market customers often shop at downtown businesses and that 50% of the farmers derive half of their revenue from these farmers’ markets. Most of the vendors at the farmers market located in the Village of Marshall are local.
Six of the vendors are from the Waterloo and Marshall area. Marshall vendors include the Marshall High School FFA Chapter selling starter seeds, bedding plants and flowers; Cub Scout Pack 76 selling Texas Roadhouse peanuts after the first weekend for a short-term; Erv’s Vegs vending garden vegetables and Christina’s Creations selling jewelry, crafts and homemade soups. From the Town of Medina, Schlimgen Farms will be vending beef products and Lutz Family Farm will be selling strawberries, blueberries and sweet corn when in season.
The Waterloo vendors are Hillgard Farms which sells eggs, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage; Soulfully Imaged, which sells necklaces and jewelry; and EIO Acres, which will sell fresh cut asparagus, garden vegetables, rhubarb and pickled canned goods. BeefnBeaks Farm from the Town of Waterloo will be selling beef and poultry products.
The other vendors include the Grove Flower Farm from Deerfield which will sell fresh cut flowers; Mai Chang, who has a greenhouse and garden in Madison, will sell vegetables; Cassoulet, based out of Sun Prairie, makes homemade meals and will be at the market for six weeks; and Bonde Bee from Randolph will be selling honey and possibly maple syrup.
Mysh Garden, from Sun Prairie; Oakdale Farms of Cambridge, will both be selling garden vegetables and Ka’s Fresh Bouquets and Veggies will be selling out of Milwaukee. Bubbling Brook Farm in Madison will be selling maple syrup.
The Marshall Farmers’ Market is Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) Senior certified as recipients of both of these programs will have access to healthy food.
While attending this new feature in the village, supporting the market can be a start of spending a day in Marshall by using the one-year-old playground at Fireman’s Park, buying a day pass to the campground, going to Little Amerricka, renting a kayak at the newly installed kayak and canoe launch at the park or supporting a local restaurant.
Supporting a farmers’ market is a great way to help the community farmers and the local economy.