SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — John Wesselius is out in the field picking cabbage as he and his wife Janna prepare for their 18th year at the Falls Park Farmers Market.
“That’s my livelihood,” Wesselius said Friday morning. “If you visit me at Falls Park Farmers Market you will know that this is what I do, if you were to visit my farm, you would know this is what I do. I do this year-round. This is my farm; this is my livelihood.”
From May through October every year Wesselius and his wife spend their Saturdays in Sioux Falls and Sioux City selling their produce at local markets. At Falls Park, Wesselius constant presence has helped to build a loyal customer base year after year.
“There are people I’ve brought vegetables to are provided with vegetables for since 2005. I know them by name and that’s the atmosphere, that’s the ambiance,” Wesselius said. “It’s about direct to consumer, food to the consumers table and shake the hand of the farmer that feeds you.”
For Jonah Zimbelman, co-owner of Forrest’s Fresh Nut Butters, this will be his first year at the market.
“This last year we’ve expanded quite a bit. We’ve been selling at the Coffea coffee shops, so this is just another opportunity to get into the local scene and connect with some of these other local providers and be a part of the Sioux Falls business community,” Zimbelman said.
Forrest Fresh incorporates all locally sourced ingredients with peanuts and maple syrup bought from the Sioux Falls Co-Op and honey to sweeten the mix from Splitrock Honey Co. in Brandon. Forrest’s Fresh also uses glass jars with paper labels to encourage reuse.
“We make small batches, and we grind weekly, it doesn’t sit around for very long,” Zimbelman explained. “A lot of the times if you’re buying a jar of Skippy peanut butter in the store, it’s been sitting there for months, so they have to add salt and sugar and vegetable oils. Our stuff is just peanuts and then the natural sugars that we use.”
Over at The Cornucopia, Wesselius is focusing on about 15-18 types of produce for the first few weeks at the market.
“We’ll have the napa cabbage, salad turnips, a Japanese spinach, spinach, salad mix or some version or lettuce, a leaf lettuce, radish, chard, probably three different kinds of kale,” Wesselius listed off.
Just yesterday Wesselius planted tomatoes, peppers cucumbers, carrots, and potatoes with even more to be planted as the summer progresses.
“We do our best to grow in season and we push the boundaries a little bit,” Wesselius said.
The Falls Park Farmers Market kicks off Saturday, May 6 at 8 a.m. north of Falls Park.
All vendors at the Falls Park Farmers Market:
- Alissa’s Flower Farm & Wedding Design/Silver Maple Woodshop
- Bee Loved Kitchen
- Brosia Bowl
- Carper Sweet Corn & Produce
- CH Patisserie
- Cherrybean Coffee Co.
- Dakota Mushrooms & Microgreens
- Farm Life Creamery
- Forrest’s Fresh Peanut Butter
- Heart of the City
- Jensen Sweet Corn & Produce
- Kari’s Kreations
- Kettle King Kettle Korn
- Klassen Farm
- Little Shire Farm
- Mary’s Kitchen and Garden
- Monday’s Macarons
- Orange Creek Farms
- Original CORN PIE
- Parable Coffee Co.
- Robinson Ranch
- Salas Salsas
- Sinless Sweets
- Skipping Stone Wood Fired Pizza
- Songbird Kombucha
- Sonja Gloria Pottery
- Sunnyside Gardens
- Sweetgrass Soapery
- The Cornucopia
- Uptown Sauce
- Warner’s Produce