By Jasmine Willis
DANSVILLE — It is that time of year again when the local farmers, bakers, and crafters come out to sell fresh goods to the community.
Dansville Farmer’s Market has chosen a new day and location this year during the Covid 19 Crisis. Church Park provides enough room for vendors and community members to social distance as they gather for fresh meat, produce and baked goods. The farmer’s market has chosen to meet from 3 to 6:30 p.m. every Thursday through October. On June 25 Dansville Farmer’s Market held its opening day with a few vendors eager to show what they had to offer.
Jill DeWispelaere, of South Dansville provided the baked goods this time. She has been baking from scratch since her childhood at 4-H events.
“I baked during my time in 4-H for years. My grandmother and mother taught me everything I know about baking. I am excited to be part of the farmer’s market this year,” she said. “I make everything from scratch. This is my first time trying to sell my baked goods on this scale. I do take orders online from my Facebook page.”
DeWispelaere had pies, cookies, biscuits, brownies and much more.
Kylie Smith, of Glen Haven Farms began this farmer’s market with Kate Morrison, of The Farmette last year on Ossian Street. Smith said having the farmer’s market at the park gives them an opportunity to grow. They are accepting all kinds of different vendors right now that have liability insurance.
“I sold out of my cucumbers right away. I will have more of them, squash, and zucchini next week. I will be bringing in tomatoes, sweet corn, and radish in a few weeks,” she said. “We are keeping really busy on the farm. I think we will continue to have a great turnout for the farmer’s market.”
Morrison added that the farmers are considered essential workers in this national time of crisis. The farmers have been working hard to keep everyone fed.
“Farmers are considered essential workers right now. We still think it is very important to provide local meat and fresh produce to people. We are all following the guidelines put in place to keep everyone safe,” she said. “We hope to be able to have live music again soon when things open up more. We are all social distancing and wearing masks. We require everyone who comes to the farmer’s market to wear a mask.”
Morrison said in the following weeks there will be cheese, mushroom, organic, craft, and more fresh produce vendors.
In August her farm will provide chicken sausage, which has been a new item in the works. People were inquiring about that at the farmer’s market grand opening.
“This is a great chance for us to socialize and see people we haven’t been able to see for a while too. We have been very busy on the farm,” Morrison said. “People are starting to see what the local farms provide for them. They are starting to shop more for local foods.”
Morrison created a social media platform for local farmers during the Covid 19 Crisis called Find Your Farmer in Western New York. It reached over 7,500 members in under a month.
“I created the group to make it easy for people to get in touch with their local farmers. I wanted them to know where to find local produce. All of us farmers have even discovered one another through this platform. It is a great way for us all to connect with one another, and to be able to connect with all of our customers. We are trying to educate the public on what we all do,” she said. “I want to do more Facebook Live videos where we talk about how to order meat, what your local butcher does, and how to use your freezer space. There is a huge interest in this area for fresh local meat.”
Laura Vogt, of Valley View Farmstead said they were part of the farmer’s market last year.
“We provide a farm stand for our fresh produce at our farm. We wanted to be part of the farmer’s market again this year,” she said. “We have the farm stand for people who want to have something specific. Our fresh eggs go very fast at the stand. We usually have people message us on our Facebook page what they want to have, and we will leave that produce for them.”
Vogt purchased the dairy farm from her grandparents a couple of years ago.
“The cows and horses are long gone from the farm. I remember always helping my grandpa with the garden when I was younger. We turned the farm into fresh produce. We also have a sunflower field. We provide fresh eggs as well,” she said. “We try not to leave too much at the stand. We like to take orders from people.”
Dansville Farmer’s Market at Church Park on Clara Barton Street. Every Thursday from 3 to 6:30 p.m. If you are interested in being a vendor contact Smith or Morrison.