Farmers Market 2013 ends
With a nearby temperature sign reading 42 degrees and a small number of vendors remaining and bundled up against the cold, the 2013 season of the Washington Farmers Market came to an end Thursday evening.
Even though the market had been scheduled to last one more week, Market Master Bob Shepherd said that the promise of a hard freeze Thursday night and the desire not to conflict with the annual Trick-or-Treat Around the Square event, scheduled for next Thursday, influenced the decision to end a week early. Shepherd said that the chill in the air had not impacted the market before Thursday and that the 2013 market year was a good year.
“It was an up-and-down year,” Shepherd said. “It was slow coming on because of the late planting because of the rain, then the rain was done. Once it got started we had really good produce. Our baked good are always good. We had some new people. We just keep tooling away.”
The few vendors who remained at the end of the season still had fresh produce, baked goods and other items. Shepherd said the turnout was the smallest in 20 years and it was not representative of the rest of the year. He said it was because of the cold.
Vendor Gerald Freyenberger only finished picking the produce – tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables — on his table Wednesday. Finishing his 23rd year as a vendor, he said that there is no question that he will return next year.
“I enjoy it,” he said. “I like to have something to do. I retired from farming and this is kind of a substitute.”
Jeri Klein had a bread-and-baked-goods table set up in Central Park. She said that everything was baked fresh on the day of the market.
“We’ve had a really great time,” she said. “Washington Farmers Market is one of the best that we participate in, and we participate in several throughout the year. Bob does a great job and it has a really strong following.”
Nita Miller set up her table full of baked goods Thursday evening. She said that the turnout this year was better than in the 2012 season. She said that she had been coming to the market for 10 years, and it seems to improve every year.
“I just thought things went better,” she said. “It seemed as if we could bring more things up this year. I missed a few weeks, but we still had a good year. You can sell so many more things in just a couple of hours.”
She said compared to other markets she attends, the Washington market tops the list.
Shepherd said that visitors to the 2014 Farmers Market season could expect to see some new vendors. The season kicks off on the third Thursday in May.
“It’s been good, and it just keeps getting better,” he said.