Open-air farmer's market features multiple vendors

Stacey Hartley • Jun 22, 2019 at 11:39 PM

Norwalk’s first open-air farmer’s market — already in its third week — was started by three local farmers. The farmers, all women, combined the nearly 20 years of farm-market experience between them, with their own skill sets to bring local produce to the community.

Open-air markets are similar to a flea markets — but with fresh fruit and vegetable vendors — in a public location. A year ago, when a local citizen raised the question of why Norwalk didn’t have one of its own, Barb Pitsinger, Jaime Garza and Marty Kerns put their heads together to, at once, answer that question and provide a solution. 

“We wanted (to establish) a place where the community would want to come for fresh . . . local produce,” said Pitsinger, the new market’s manager. 

After researching the permit process, the women resolved to set their joint goal in motion.

“We were in and out of meetings for a year,” Pitsinger said. 

Once the permit was OK’d and the 319 E. Main St. location was approved by the Masonic Lodge, the project was even nearer to the target. 

The co-founders being “on the same page” is something Pitsinger said was most helpful and positive parts of making it happen.

“We each have our own skill sets,” Pittinger said. “What one of us wouldn’t think of, the other two would.” 

Pitsinger, along with Kerns (Marty’s Gardens) and the group’s person in charge of social media Garza (Legacy Acres Farm & CSA), already has her own produce business (Racheal’s Veggies.) 

And while their own products are featured, other businesses are welcomed to peddle their specific wares in the same location —  homemade soaps and jewelry among them. 

The market will be open from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday “rain or shine,” according to the market website and Facebook page. Of the vendors who return to Norwalk’s open-air market regardless of the weather, the manager said they’ve “become like family members.”

Despite the cool, rainy weather on the opening June 8 weekend, the market held nine different vendors and six on its second. Pitsinger said today could see up to 15 (vendors) based off registration.

What’s next for the Norwalk Farmer’s Market is a grand opening planned for July 13.

For more information, visit https://norwalk-farmers-market.business.site and its Facebook page or call 419-706-5859.

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