Ethan Williams helped his dad bring in a truckload of corn from their 200-acre farm in the Morrison area on Friday night.
The corn had to be as fresh as possible to sell first thing Saturday morning at the Farmers Market.
Asked how he was able to harvest so much corn in just one night, Ethan had a quick answer.
“We have a machine for that. It’s called your two hands,” he said.
Business was booming Saturday morning at the Circle W Angus Farms booth, an indication of the high activity level throughout the entire Farmers Market.
“Corn is the big thing we grow,” said Rob Williams, Ethan’s dad. “We also sell registered angus beef. My wife and I both work full-time jobs, but we’re here every weekend through November.”
Carolyn Bickford has her own Farmers Market fan base. She’s been a vendor ever since the pavilion was constructed in 1991. People come for her sourdough bread and they drool over her fried pies. Cookies and muffins are also popular.
“The muffins are great, especially if it’s just one person, or two people at home,” said Carolyn. “They’re not going to eat a whole cake so a muffin works out well.”
As for what makes her fried pies ooze with so much flavor, Carolyn wasn’t afraid to reveal her secret.
“I use dried fruit as the filling, not canned fruit,” said Carolyn. “That makes a difference.”
Bickford added of the Farmers Market crowd, “We’ve seen a lot of new faces since the pandemic. A lot more younger people are coming.”
John A. Basham is known by many as “The Tomato Man.” He takes pride in the vegetables he grows on his farm on Pigeon Hill Road in Centertown.
“I don’t bring junk up here,” said John. “I always make sure it’s good, quality stuff.”
So what’s his favorite vegetable to eat? “It has to be a potato,” said John.
Saturday’s brisk crowd is typical, Basham said, but he also wants to promote the Farmers Market hours on Wednesday.
“I’d like to invite more people to come out on Wednesday,” said John. “We’re a little slower then.”
Glenn and Lynn Greene grow all their own produce on their 150-acre farm. It’s all-natural gardening, said Lynn.
“We don’t use any chemicals or pesticides,” she said. “We use cinnamon and coffee grounds. It keeps the bugs away because they don’t like the smell.”
Glenn also provided a gardening tip to grow vegetables with better flavor.
“Put Epson salt around the base of the plant,” said Glenn. “It works great for tomatoes and really for any type of plant. It enhances the flavor of the vegetable.”
On the other end of the Farmers Market, Lauren Childers was busy selling corn to local attorney Michael Galligan. Michael was concerned he might be buying more corn than he and his wife, Rhonda, could eat.
“It’s easy to freeze,” said Lauren. “Just stick it in a bag and place it in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat it, take it out of the freezer, wrap it in a paper towel, and microwave it for five minutes. It’s delicious.”
The Farmers Market is open on Saturday and Wednesday mornings beginning at 7 a.m. each day. It’s located in downtown McMinnville next to the water tower.