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Ronan Farmers Market moves to visitor center

News from Ronan Farmers Market

A passing thunderstorm didn’t put a damper on the first Ronan Farmers Market of the 2018 season last week.

Even before Lake County Sheriff Don Bell rang the first market bell of the season, buyers were checking out the booths set up by 13 vendors in the grass field west of the Ronan Visitor’s Center.

“Welcome to the 2018 sale season,” Bell announced to cheers from the crowd.

Vendor Bill Houck said the turnout was much bigger than last year’s and he looked forward to a successful market. The market runs every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. through mid-October.

“We’ve had more people here tonight than we had the whole season last year,” he said.

Kids played cornhole in the center of the circle of vendors, giving parents a chance to shop for cheese, sourdough bread, micro-greens, plum tarts, and morel mushrooms. One popular item at the market was fresh-squeezed lemonade sold by vendor Ciella Whitsett.

Marcella Adolph said it was a good opportunity to connect with the community and support local vendors.

“What a great way to start out the farmers market in Ronan. I love it,” Adolph said.

Vendor Tara Bowman, who makes natural beauty products, said she enjoys the camaraderie between vendors at the market. So does her daughter, Zoey, 7.

“She was ecstatic when I told her she could come today,” Bowman said. “She packed two bags to get ready.”

There are plans for the market to expand this season to offer more activities for kids, including some nutrition education. The local non-profit, Lake County Community Development Corp., received a USDA’s Farmer Market Promotion Program grant in 2017. The goal of the LCCDC grant is to expand markets for local agricultural producers and provide outreach about nutrition assistance programs.

The next market is Thursday, May 17, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Ronan Visitor’s Center. If you would like to be a vendor or would like more information about the market, call market manager Jaci Webb at 406-698-3312.

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