We need rain, not too much, not too little and at just the right time.

Too much rain, seeds and plants rot, wash out and the farmer has to start again. Not enough rain might mean irrigation which can be quite costly and time consuming.

This time of year, many of the farmer producers that I know, the ones with the big fields and gardens, are looking at the weather radar and watching for rain.

We are always looking at the weather. It’s too cold, too hot, too humid, too much rain, not enough. Imagine making your living and supplying food for your family, your community, the market, the grocery store or a major food chain and always depending on something you have no control over. Wow!

The local, spring crops thus far, have been plentiful and beautiful. We are fortunate that the weather has been “cooperating” and many of our producers have hoophouses and greenhouses to bring us local, fresh food, early in the season.

I have been in communication with the vendors for the past few days talking about the weather, their crops, market set up, customer support, marketing and advertising. Many of the vendors have to come, need to come no matter what the weather. Growing and producing food and selling it is their sustenance. I would encourage you to come out and shop rain or shine, heat or humidity, blue skies and gentle breezes. We will be at the market, ready for you, each week.

I started as the new manager at the Schlalfy Farmers Market in Maplewood this season. The market opens quite early and I can tell you the spring produce has been beautiful and very tasty. I expect the same variety and quality at our Wildwood Farmers Market. The rain does make everything tastes sweeter and better. We should have a variety of lettuces, chards and kales of all sizes and colors, radishes, asparagus, broccoli, strawberries, sprouts and microgreens, flowers to look at and flowers to eat, farm fresh eggs, garden plant starts, herbs and more local, seasonal produce and farm fresh veggies. The care given to the gardens, fields and the soil, choice of seeds and plants, composting, pest and weed control and other details that our market producers carefully follow are really showcased in the beautiful, delicious fare they bring to market. Visit with the vendors, create relationships and enjoy this great community event.

The folks that humanely and ethically raise the animals for the variety of meats at the market need a huge amount of support for all of their efforts. Knowing the farmer and creating a relationship with the folks that raise your food is so important. It’s important in every aspect of our food circle, but the meat and dairy industry really seems a priority. From land use and pastures, grazing methods, medications, birthing methods, stall usage, butchering or dairy and cheese production, there are so many details that are so important to healthy animals and healthy, great tasting, nutritious food. Purchase a variety of meats at the market each week. Quality cuts of pork, beef, chicken and alpaca will be available from the Clover Meadows, Stuart Farm, E&E Acres, Sunny Creek, Alpacas of Troy and others. Wild Alaska Salmon and Seafood will also be joining us throughout the season.

In addition, we have a unique variety of speciality vendors that are with us from week to week. Local artisans, the Little Sprouts Kids Market tent, live music, hands on demonstrations from the Wildwood Green Arts folks and a few special events will round out the 2016 season; maybe the best one yet.

We will try to keep you updated and posted on who will be at the market from week to week. Please stop by each Saturday, rain or shine, be surprised, enjoy the variety of what’s in season at any given time, create relationships with the folks that grow your food.

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