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Families get fresh, local veggies and a treat

<i>Gretta Stark photo</i>

Not only will customers find the fruits and vegetables they expect to see at the River Falls Farmers' Market, like lettuce, broccoli, peas and carrots, but they will also find a few things they don't necessarily expect to find at that type of setting.

For example: Scones, maple syrup, and bread.

Lisa Showers' new business, Lisa's Scones, officially opened the first of this month. Saturday, July 23, was her fourth Saturday at the River

Falls Farmers' Market selling blueberry almond, cinnamon, raspberry dark chocolate, lemon poppy seed, and chocolate chip scones.

Showers said she liked learning how to have a business, and getting to know some of the other vendors at the market.

"I like seeing all the people that I didn't realize I knew in River Falls," said Showers.

Showers sold three cinnamon scones and a chocolate chip scone to Daniel and Courtney Wascowicz and their two children Graham and Ava.

Daniel and Courtney said they had gotten scones the previous week as a treat, and Graham had been wanting another one ever since.

"That's something," said Daniel, "When a five-year-old will say, 'I wanna get scones.'"

The Wascowicz family has been coming regularly to the Farmers' Market for the last year of the three years they have lived in River Falls.

They said they prefer buying vegetables from local farmers than from the grocery store.

"We just like the variety, like to get out of the house on a Saturday, get some fresh veggies and a treat," said Courtney.

Donna and Raymond Gleason of River Falls, have been coming to the Farmers' Market for years.

"We buy all our vegetables here," said Donna Gleason, "They're great quality. Can't get any better quality."

Donna Gleason also bought some jam from Leanna Cernohous.

Cernohous said some of her strawberry and raspberry jams are very popular. She sold out of raspberry last week. Cernohous is also a substitute teacher at the River Falls High School.

"I run into people from school that I see here," said Cernohous.

Cernohous said she will also have fruits and vegetables for sale later in the season, when the plants are ready, but for now she's selling jam.

Showers' scones and Cernohous' jams aren't the only sweet treats at the Farmers' Market.

Anna Crownhart has been selling maple syrup from her farm at the Farmers' Market for 20 years.

"People really like it," said Crownhart, "Once they try it, they're hooked."

While maple syrup is more expensive than flavored pancake syrup from the grocery store, Crownhart said it is also healthier, and it might be a selling point for her.

"I think more people are tuning in to better health," said Crownhart.

Betty Schultz, Farmers' Market manager said there is a nationwide movement towards buying local.

"I think that makes our Farmers' Market that much more relevant today than when it was started 40 years ago," said Schultz.

As per the River Falls Farmers' Market's rules, every vendor at the market sells products from within 35 miles of River Falls.

Some of the most popular items at the market are sweet corn, which Schultz said is just starting to show up at the market, potatoes, beets carrots and lettuces, and flowers.

Schultz said flowers are one of the most popular items in the entire market.

Flowers are also the reason Sarah Torkelson likes to work at the Farmers' Market.

"I love doing the flowers," said Torkelson.

Torkelson's flower arrangements sold quickly, especially the ones with gladiolas.

Torkelson works for Cedar Hill Greenhouse. This is her third year working at the Farmers' Market.

The only thing Torkelson said she doesn't like is having to get up early.

"Otherwise, I've been enjoying it," said Torkelson, "It's a great community too. Everybody helps each other out."

For more information about the River Falls Farmers' Market, call Schultz at 715-425-7394.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

(715) 426-1048