Market offers fresh choicesLunch hour was lively outside the Superior Public Library Wednesday. At the weekly Farmers’ Market, visitors snapped up freshly-picked vegetables, herbs, homemade mustards, chocolates, soap and crafts.In the background, country music played.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Lunch hour was lively outside the Superior Public Library Wednesday. At the weekly Farmers’ Market, visitors snapped up freshly-picked vegetables, herbs, homemade mustards, chocolates, soap and crafts.In the background, country music played.
“I love it and I buy a lot,” said Christine Herubin of South Range, who was squeezing a visit to the market into her busy schedule. “It’s fresh, local and it’s right here.” She picked up some peas, potatoes and lettuce from the Brule River Farms stall, then went to check the other stalls.
Richard “RJ” Kothbauer, 5, waited in line with his mother, Heather, for some fresh cucumbers.
“I buy local and I like that,” Heather Kothbauer said. It supports farm families and strengthens the local economy, she said. “And I believe it’s probably healthier for you.”
After netting the cucumbers, the pair added strawberry jam and maple syrup to their bag.
Gail Marshall, a transplant from Mississippi, started stopping by the market last year. Although she has a garden plot at her daughter’s home in rural Douglas County, Marshall is always on the lookout for plants to add.
“I like to drop in here, see if there’s something different, something I don’t have,” said Marshall, who lives in Superior. “And I just like to interact with people, talk to people.” She purchased 14 new plants Wednesday.
Gayle Dopp of Superior has become a fixture at both the Wednesday and Saturday Farmers’ Markets in Superior. She started by selling coffee. Then she added baked goods. Soon, she was dusting off family recipes and marketing her own line of mustards and sauces under the Ol’ Babes label. But it all started with a love of farmers’ markets.
“I believe in sustainable farming,” Dopp said. “I believe you should buy local.”
How fresh is the produce available at the market?
“You know that cucumber was picked last night,” said Dopp, who admits she’s a “greenie” and a “foodie.” That’s why her mustards and sauces and pickles are anything but average. Instead, they are gourmet mixes, like raspberry chipotle sauce and the soon-to-be-unveiled “fire and ice” pickles.
“I’m like the mad chemist in the kitchen,” Dopp said.
Solon Springs farmers Francis and Darlene Barrett have been toting produce to the Superior market for four years.
“We like to see customers come and enjoy our vegetables,” said their daughter, Kim. The produce is fresh, organic and natural.
“For Douglas County, local food availability is recognized as a public health perk , a good fresh source of food , a way to support and maintain a rural landscape and a means to participate in local agriculture with people we know,” said Jane Anklam, horticulture and agriculture educator with UW-Extension.
Local farmers’ markets
In Superior, a downtown farmers’ market is held every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the library parking lot, 1530 Tower Ave. An even bigger market with about 16 different vendors sets up on Barker’s Island every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.
Wentworth Gardens, 4474 S. Wentworth Road, hosts a weekly market from 2:30-6 p.m. Tuesdays.
A new Iron River Farmers’ Market was launched this month by Ray Kangas. It is set up from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays along Railroad Street across from the old feed mill.
The market will be held every Tuesday through October. Anyone interested in adding their produce to the event can call Kangas at 866-583-9083.