• October 21, 2014

Farmers market sprouts in Belton

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Posted: Sunday, June 1, 2014 4:30 am

BELTON — It’s best to come early to the Belton Farmers Market.

“If you come earlier, everything is all stacked up, and it looks real pretty,” said Wayne Ingram of G&W Farms near Troy.

He and his wife, Geri, have been gardening for more than 40 years.

This is their fourth year at the Belton market, which runs from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday from mid-May to Sept. 30 at the intersection of Central Avenue and Penelope Street.

By 8:30 a.m., their supplies were running low.

They had just about run out of red cabbage, and were out of broccoli.

The lineup still included rosemary, onions, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, red potatoes, scallions, turnips, beets and carrots.

“We do just about every kind of vegetable that grows around here,” he said. “We do sell Swiss chard and tomatoes when they get ready.”

Later in the year, they will have butternut and acorn squash, his wife said.

They have three gardens, and everything is 100 percent home-grown.

“It’s kind of a social event,” she said of the market. “We do all right as far as money.

“It’s a lot of work, as far as harvesting it, cleaning it, picking it, weeding and watering. You have to have the garden bug.”

Melvin and Geraldine Voigt of Temple have a big garden, and have been coming to the market for six years.

Her sister, Kathy Weber, helped sell their vegetables Saturday.

“Later, we’ll have green beans, black-eyed peas, corn and tomatoes,” Geraldine Voigt said. “It’s too early for all that. The ground was too cold.

“We grow everything ourselves,” she said. “We may have melons later on.” The plants are in the field, but she said time would tell. “We’re not sure if the bees are going to pollinate. There may not be enough. We may eat them ourselves.”

Asked about greens, she said they are a lot of trouble, and are a later crop. The Voigts plan to come to the market through the summer, but will not have a fall garden.

Larry Harmon of LnL Farms in Sparks has been coming to the Belton market for at least 10 years.

Saturday he had cantaloupe, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, sweet onions and red potatoes.

He said he got his tomatoes from a friend in Gustine.

“Tomatoes are not really going to kick in for two more weeks,” he said. “The late frost and cold weather threw us behind, three weeks to a month.”

He said he would be selling all kinds of vegetables at the market location even in October. “We will probably have greens and pumpkins,” he said. “We may have this year’s pecans. We just try to raise as much local vegetables as we can.”

Ethel Canion, of Temple, who bought a few peaches and tomatoes, said it was her first time at the market. She came with her daughter and son-in-law, Gwen and Jim Garrett. “They’re buying fruits and vegetables,” she said. “They like organics and fresh vegetables.”

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