Wilder Hosts Cartwright’s First-Ever Indoor Farmer’s Market | News, Sports, Jobs

TR PHOTO BY SUSANNA MEYER Cartwright Farmer’s Market Manager Trisha Wilder poses behind her display of baked goods. Wilder has run it since 2019, and Saturday’s event was the first indoor market she’s hosted.

Farmers’ markets are often reserved for the summer months, but Trisha Wilder, manager of the Cartwright Farmers Market, couldn’t see why an event with so many benefits for local artisans and farmers couldn’t take place during the summer months. winter too.

Wilder hosted Cartwright’s first-ever Indoor Farmer’s Market event Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Community Building in Riverview Park. This event hosted four different vendors, including Wilder herself, each offering a unique mix of products and a friendly smile to everyone who stopped by. Even though the cold weather made summer products like food items impossible, other products without seasonal restrictions were available.

Amelia Ward, one of the vendors, displayed a myriad of artistically crafted products on her table, ranging from knitted hats and wine cozies to bracelets and earrings. Ward attended the Cartwright Farmers Market as a first-time vendor last summer and really enjoyed the experience, so when Wilder got in touch with this event, Ward was more than happy to attend.

“I love creating stuff, and I have so, very little room to store it. So I thought I’d share it,” Ward said. “I love the joy it brings to people.”

Jeff Mayer, a local farm owner, was another vendor offering local items. Mayer’s table featured farm-fresh eggs, dog chews, and homemade soap in a variety of flavors. They also sold cuts of chicken and duck meat raised on their farm. Mayer said this was his third year there and business got better every year.

“We get lucky on some days, because we have a little different product than a lot of people are used to seeing at the farmer’s market. So with our whole chickens and things like that, it’s not always what you see at the market,” Mayer said. “It’s been getting better since we started, every year because we have returning customers.”

Other unique items included her soap and dog chews. Mayer said they learned to make soap when they had 80 pounds of leftover lard they didn’t want to waste. The dog chew was invented in the same way.

“The dog chews are our novelty that we’re sort of adding to. Since we’re taking the time to raise the birds as best we can, we don’t want to see any waste,” Mayer said.

Dog chews were made from by-products that might otherwise go to waste after processing, such as pig ears and chicken feet.

Speaking of dogs, Kristina Coltrain and her son Jacksyn had a table laden with gourmet dog treats. It was their first time at the farmer’s market and she said the people had been very friendly. Kristina said they started making dog treats in the fall.

“I love to cook and I love dogs, so it’s a good combination for me,” she said.

As Wilder hosted the event, she also had a table set with breads of all flavors available for purchase. Wilder actually started out as a salesman in 2018 before taking over running the Cartwright Farmers Market in 2019 after former managers retired.

According to Wilder, the market has grown exponentially since she took over. At the start of its first summer season, they had few vendors and low attendance with only six or seven returning vendors. By the end, Wilder said returning sellers and attendance had doubled.

“When I took over, (the market) was kind of, I don’t mean dying, but it was (declining),” Wilder said. “I was able to bring him back really strong at the end of that first season.”

Wilder said that even after COVID hit in his second season as manager, they managed to grow a bit more in this season with various safety precautions in place. Finally, in 2021, Wilder estimated that around 40 vendors were present throughout the summer season. The summer season lasts from May to October.

As the next step in the growth of the Cartwright Farmers Market, Wilder hopes they can secure consistent indoor winter markets like the one on Saturday.

Although there aren’t many vendors ready for the market on Saturday, Wilder thinks more will come for the next event on Jan. 22. Attendance was relatively low the first time around, but as the markets become more regular, more foot traffic is expected.

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Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611

or [email protected]

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James V. Payne