Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Ketchum’s Farmers Market Customers are Masked but Produce is Not
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Sara Berman hands off a bunch of Squash Blossom Farms produce.
   
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

They were asked to shop with their eyes, not their hands. And to let vendors help the select their items.

But shoppers didn’t seem to mind as the 2020 Wood River Farmers Market launched Tuesday afternoon amidst a worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

“I think it’s admirable what they’ve done here,” said shopper Randi Filoon, who had come armed with a multitude of big shopping bags.

 
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Julie Heneghan sells her sweets and savories out of suitcases.
 

Eighty-nine shoppers who had ordered online came through first with signs affixed to their dashboard specifying whether they wanted their order placed in their trunk or back seat. They stopped their car in front of each vendor booth they had purchased an item from.

“We can do more but this was kind of perfect for the first one,” said Market Manager Sheila Plowman.

At 4, after two hours of the drive-through market, the in-person market opened to those who felt comfortable strolling through the market on foot.

Small orange cones placed on the pavement of the Lower River Run parking lot reminded them to distance themselves while waiting for their turn at a booth. Shoppers were limited to 50 at a time based on the state’s current guidelines, although no one had to wait to get in during the first half-hour.

 
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Carol Murphy offers photographs of Shooting Star Farm, along with produce.
 

Kristy Geske, whose Sweet Indulgence booth has long been a part of the Farmers Market had a couple new items—Rosemary Corn Cake and Ginger Cookies—nestled in among chocolate chip cookies and other favorites.

“I just take recipes and experiment and come up with new ideas,” she said.

Piedaho hawked its Cherry Cream Pie, which it makes only for the Farmers Market, along with Chai Apple, Dutch Apple, Blackberry Thyme and Strawberry Rhubarb pies.

And, yes, the Mennonite women of Brick Oven Bakery were back with their popular fruit pies. And this time, they had face masks for sale, as well, made of colorful material sporting pictures of food, flowers and clipper ships.

 
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The market has a few rules to ensure the safety of shoppers and vendors.
 

Julie Heneghan’s Hoosier Cabinet Bakery boasted focaccia bread, scones, breakfast oat cups, cookies, cinnamon rolls and banana bread, which has been called the signature comfort food of the pandemic nationwide.

She sold her goodies out of suitcases that her parents bought at least 50 years ago.

Itty Bitty Farms’ London and Emily Knowles estimated they sold about 50 bags of various greens during the drive-through market, and they had 150 more to sell to walkers, along with potted strawberry plants for those who wished to eat fresh strawberries off the vine.

Ed Zinader said Squash Blossom Farms in Bellevue is offering baby kale for the first time and plans to try out some new heirloom tomatoes, peppers and carrots on shoppers later this summer.

 
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Kristy Geske talks Randi Filoon into some ginger cookies for her husband.
 

“So far the market has gone very smoothly very controlled well planned,” said his wife Sara Berman. “We were hopeful there would be some version of the Farmers Market this year and we’re glad it worked. They’ve put a lot of work into this.”

Prairie Sun Farm had basil, dill weed and other herbs wrapped in plastic. It did the same with its arugula, spinach, beets and other produce.

Carol Murphy of Shooting Star Farm set out her produce on a table in front of her booth for her customers to pick up. Then she had customers drop money in a Brown Cow yogurt container rather than hand it to her.

“It’s a little different this year, but we have to do it this way,” said Kristy Geske.

Online ordering for next Tuesday’s Farmers Market starts on Friday and runs through noon Sunday at www.wrfarmersmarket.org. Online pickup goes from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and is followed by in-person shopping from 4 to 6 p.m. through Sept. 29.

 

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