Updated: Aug 11, 2021
By Jasmine Willis
WAYLAND – The second annual local farmer’s market has blossomed.
Wayland American Legion started a local farmer’s market last year to give the community hope in hard times. Post Commander Kevin Mark said the second year is successful.
“We have some new vendors every other week. We are asking any food vendors who are interested to contact the legion about coming to the farmer’s market. We like to change it up every other week. In the future we are going to do clams one week. We just like to do something a little extra to mix it up. There is always fresh produce here,” he said.
Mark said there are plenty of repeat customers who come to the farmer’s market every time. It is always busy at the legion and a great program for the community.
John Waldecker, Wayland American Legion first vice commander sells military flags, American Flags, and other military items at the farmer’s market every time. He said all of the proceeds go back to the legion for the community.
“I have been part of this farmer’s market since they started doing it last year. This is my home post since I came back here from California,” he said.
Waldecker served his country from 1980 to 84. He was part of the Joint Task Force Bravo in the 1980s in Central America. This was a special ops force that handled threats to our security in Central America.
Waldecker said they are called the Secret Wars of Central America. For a long time, no one could talk about the missions.
“We did a lot of special ops missions in Central America. Especially, in the fall of 1983. For a long time, we weren’t allowed to talk about it. We were being taken from the air base in and out of the jungle and being hunkered down to handle security threats. In those days everything was top secret. They were known as the Secret Wars of Central America,” he said.
As a favor to the other vendors at the farmer’s market, Waldecker began recording video promos for them to share on the community pages to get people interested in the items. He said it has been taking off and everyone really enjoys them.
Knapp Farms Beef owner, Darren Knapp is a sixth-generation farm owner who has reinvented the wheel on the Ossian family homestead. He took the dairy farm and made it just a beef farm now.
Knapp said the farm is selling beef at local restaurants such as Scovill’s Grill and FitzPatrick Farm Market in Dansville.
“We have been working the farmer’s market new this year. We have been doing retail for awhile now. Now we are into Farm Drop at Linwood and Nunda. It is an online farmer’s market that allows customers to order and pay online from a variety of vendors. They can pick up at the drop offs at Linwood and Nunda every Thursday. People are getting into the online markets,” he said.
Knapp said his family farm has been on the hills of Ossian since the 1850s.
“It is neat growing up around all of this history. It is great to preserve the story of the family and the farm. We all grew up learning a lot about this farm’s history. It has been passed down the line for generations,” he said.
They sell different cuts of beef and pork. You can pick up at the farm or the markets.
Valley View Farmstead owner, Laura Vogt said the sunflowers are in full bloom and very popular this year. The Groveland farm gets a lot of visitors for this reason every year.
“We moved into my grandparents homestead in 2018. This is our third season of having sunflowers and produce on the five-acre farm. We always knew we wanted to move onto my family farm someday. We are very blessed to have been able to keep it in the family. I started doing the markets in Dansville. Now we enjoy doing them in Wayland too,” she said. “We do all regenerate agriculture so there are no pesticides in our produce. We use animal manure and natural cure. We do all of our own flowers and produce.”
Vogt added she enjoys seeing her regular customers every year at the farmer’s markets. It is like old home week every time.
East Hill Creamery in Perry has come a long way over the years with the cheese factory. They have several aged cheeses that are great with wines. The favorite is Happy Accident, which is a creamier cheese for all the favorite foods.
Holly Moore, daughter of the owners, said her parents raised her on a dairy farm in Warsaw. She helps her parents at East Hill Creamery. They bring in the raw milk and process it manually with the cheese wheels. You can do a tour of the facility and view it behind glass. Her parents built a cave for this purpose on the property to age their own cheese. It must be aged at least 60 to 90 days.
Many of their cheese products can be found in local stores. Moore has her own farm in Dansville.
Gavin Burke of Rustic Creekside Shop is a woodcraftsman and a garlic farmer. He sells both his woodwork and garlic at the farmer’s market.
Burke said he got into garlic farming last year when he found out all the health benefits. He has always been into woodwork.
Anyone interested in being a vendor at the Wayland Legion Farmer’s Market can contact the legion for a spot. The market is at 102 N. Main Street every other Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. until mid-October. For more information contact Kevin Mark at 585-728-2230.