Along Main Street this week, local vendors raised tents and tables to kick off this summer’s first Hettinger farmers market.
Potential customers took full advantage of Wednesday’s cool weather to browse the different tables for locally homemade goods.
For the next few months, local vendors will set up tables every Wednesday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at the parking lot on the corner of Main Street and Highway 12 to show their wares and sell local produce and crafts.
This week, Eileen Engraf had a broad display of her homemade baked goods while her neighboring tent, Jody LeFebre, sold jars of canned goods. Both showed off a variety of homemade goods to passersby’s.
LeFebre and Engraf encouraged new vendors to join the local market. Both explained that the farmers market in Hettinger is very low-pressure.
“It’s open to anyone,” said Engraf. “We are not an official farmers market. Really, we are just some friends that like to get together.”
Both Engraf and LebFebre noted the ease of becoming involved in the local market. Because the local farmers market is an unofficial organization, venders are not obligated to create a meeting board or follow any bylaws.
“If someone has a product ready to sell”, said the vendors, “they are welcome to set up a table.”
“The only rule we have is if one vender sells something else comparable to another vender, talk to with that person and try to get a similar price,” said LeFebre. “It’s good to be courteous of other vendors.”
As the gardening season progresses, both LeFebre and Engraf expect more venders and gardeners to join the farmers market and start selling their goods.
“It all depends on the gardening season,” said LeFebre. “This year, because it was so wet and cool, it was a slow growing season.”
LeFebre estimated that more fresh vegetable vendors should be available at the market within a month.
“There’s nothing that compares to a fresh fruit or vegetable,” she said.
According to Engraf, the Hettinger farmers market started over 6 years ago. Since its start, venders have sold herbs, dog treats, and various crafts. Today, roughly six venders usually take part in the farmers market.
Both Engraf and LeFebre plan on regularly vending their goods each week until the end of September. They encouraged more people and vendors participate in the market.
“We strongly encourage anybody who is interested to get involved,” said LeFebre. “We are always looking for more vendors, and we have had a lot of people come visit and check out what we have.”