Saturday morning, the Wooster Farmers Market was bustling with business and smiles. Local farmers and gardeners were in attendance, selling their organic goods. There were a variety of booths. Some sold herbs, some sold vegetables, some sold cupcakes, and others, flowers.
“I don’t grow fruits but there’s people that have fruits throughout the season. I grow veggies. There are people that will have honey. And there’s flowers,” said Tom Roelant, a local gardener, as he listed examples of the diversity of the products. “It’s not always edible things.”
Steve and Lauree Ladrach were manning the Autumn Harvest Farm booth. They are relatives to Marcus and Beth, who started the farmers market 15 years ago. “There’s a lot of variety,” said Lauree Ladrach, “fresh stuff, a lot of organic stuff. A lot of healthy stuff.”
“Beth Ladrach came to the Main Street office and said that there were a few local growers who wanted to start a farmers market. So, we started one with four local growers,” said Sandra Hull, executive director of Main Street Wooster, as she reflected on how the farmers market had started. “Now, opening day on June 2, we had about 25 local growers with products of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, honey, flowers, and coffee. You name it, the market has it!”
Mardelle Amstutz, known as the Flower Lady, and her husband, Larry, have attended the farmers market for 13 years. What they loved about it was the community atmosphere that residents and growers alike gave to the event. “It’s a wonderful social event,” explained Mardelle. “There’s great music, there’s friendship between customers and booths. The kids love the dogs. And there’s coffee shops all around us. People can come here leisurely.”
“You need to experience it to really get a sense of community,” Roelant added. “My first year I didn’t have very many customers. I do now. Most of them I know by name. I wouldn’t have met them at church, wouldn’t have met them anyplace else I go. They come up and ask me, when are green beans coming in?”
The relationships between sellers and customers have always been special.
Deb Geiser was attending the farmers market for her sixth year. She spoke about how farmers and buyers help each other reduce their carbon footprints. “I just think it’s really important for the local people to actually come and take the time to grow things,” she explained, “to produce a lot of different things out of their gardens. I think it’s good all around.”
Beth Ciha and Karen Lewis had their first year as sellers last week, June 2. They were amazed that they had only one cupcake left in three hours. “We have so much respect for those that do this year after year,” Ciha said. “It’s a lot of hard work.”
The farmers market has always had a steady crowd of followers, and a steady amount of vendors too.
“The vendor base will grow to about 40 vendors by the height of the growing season,” Hull said, explaining how the season develops over time. “It is a wonderful market, loved by all those who make sure they come each week. It is a social experience and we welcome everyone to come and enjoy.”
The Wooster Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning, on the square in Wooster, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Published: June 13, 2012