Farmers Market season coming to end

Maddi Anderson Opinion Editor


 Every Wednesday afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., May through October, local vendors gather in the City Plaza parking lot to sell organic produce, baked goods, meat, and a variety of other fresh food items. 

The market is open to the public, and pulls visitors from various areas of the outer Brookings community. Most of the people that attend the Brookings Farmer’s Market are members of the Brookings community or their visiting family and friends. 

All of the vendors at the farmer’s market are local. The market welcomes all types of vendors and products. The same vendors are present at both the Wednesday and Saturday markets. The market offers a variety of products, such as: meat, eggs, honey, veggies and baked goods. 

“Just get ahold of the Market Manager, pay your fee and plant your garden,” said Butch Vierhuf, D&B Gardens. 

He mentioned that since he started in 1998, many of the same vendors return year after year calling the returning vendors “die hards.” 

“Once you start growing local food, you need outlets. The Farmer’s Market is one of those outlets,” said JaQui Kouf, Linda’s Gardens. 

With the season lasting from May until October, the vendors have the opportunity to sell their products twice a week. Some vendors have samples of products out for market goers to try. 

As the season comes to a close with only two more Wednesdays and one more Saturday, the number of vendors has decreased. Kouf said this has to do with the weather becoming increasingly colder. 

“We had about 21. That was the grand tally,” said Nichole Rice, Nichole’s Rolls, of the number of vendors in the summer months. 

Rice got involved in the market through working with another vendor, Butch Vierhuf. She then made the decision to expand her baked goods business, Nichole’s Rolls, and start her own booth. With the majority of her income coming from the market, Rice has started taking customer’s contact information for orders throughout the winter season. 

The market draws in people from the community looking for fresh foods at reasonable prices. It also allows the community to gather and support local business. 

“We like to come and support the local organic farmers,” said Jim Burns, assistant professor at SDSU. 

The farmer’s market vendors attract many repeat customers during the season. Some community members visit every single weekend to buy their products. 

“We moved two years ago, one of the first things I did was find out if there was a farmer’s market. We are here every weekend,” said Jaime Nolan-Andrino, diversity director at SDSU. 

“Pretty much anything you want you can get at the farmers market,” Kouf said.