A farmers market is coming to Winsted

June 23, 2008

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

A new farmers market is coming to Winsted that will offer a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and homemade products beginning this Friday, June 27, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the old creamery building located at 211 McLeod Avenue, kiddie-corner from TDS Telecom. Just follow the signs.

Jeff and Lisa Bayerl are behind the plan to start the farmers market in Winsted.

The Bayerls’ original plan was to take their produce to Glencoe and Cokato farmers markets, but being a practical young couple, realized the cost savings for them, along with the consumers, is having it right here in Winsted.

It took a while to find a good location for the market, but Greg Gehrman and Katy Born of Winsted Hardware offered the Bayerls the use of their property on McLeod Avenue and plans have been set into motion.

Anyone interested in being a vendor at the farmers market this Friday should contact Lisa at (320) 485-5343 or (612) 532-4857.

The Bayerls are hoping to have the market open every Friday throughout the summer and fall ending in October, but are open to any suggestions including a different weekday or time slot. They are also open to size and rules.

The only stipulation for vendors is all products sold at the farmers market must be homemade or home grown in Minnesota.

The Bayerls have been selling produce off of their farm for two years. They have a garden that is more than an acre in size.

This year they have planted: onions (four kinds), potatoes, beans (two kinds), peas (two kinds), garlic, dill (two kinds), summer squash and five other kinds of squash, 125 hills of cucumbers (10 rows), watermelon, cantaloupe, kohlrabi, cabbage, gladiolus, and herbs (10 kinds).

Lisa is the main gardener. She grew up helping her grandmother, Sophie Bickman, with her two acres of cucumbers.

“I grew up picking cucumbers, Lisa said. “That was how we paid for our school clothes and supplies. We went over to Grandma’s and that is what we did.”

“I hated it when I saw her cucumbers growing,” Lisa said. “But now I see that as the good old days. That was the best time of my life. My grandma’s friends would buy the cukes, and my sisters Melissa and Samantha and I would split the money.

When Jeff and Lisa had their daughter Gracie, 19 months old, they decided to make an effort to go back to their roots.

“We want our kids to grow up and be able to live off the land. To grow their own food and not have to depend on other people,” Lisa said.

Besides produce, Lisa plans to sell her herb jams, fruit jam, apple butter, pumpkin butter, and homemade soap.

She is also excited about providing different produce each week.

“Right now we are looking at lettuce and radishes, and each week it will be something different,” Lisa said.

“We are talking about going from radishes to squash to pumpkins,” Lisa said.

Lisa has already got an orchard in the area that is going to be selling in August and an organic pumpkin grower that is going to be coming in the fall.

“The more the merrier. We want as many as possible to come and make this a big deal,” Lisa said.

“Gaylord and Glencoe have a farmers market. I just think Winsted deserves a farmers market. Traveling is a thing of the past. Why not bring a market to Winsted?”

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