Meet the Market
Meet some of the vendors at our weekly Saturday morning Farmers Market:
Dana Boyle is the manager of Garners Produce, and you’ll see her most Saturdays at the southern end of the market near Byblos:
My family has owned and operated our vegetable and fruit farm for more than 100 years! The farm covers 100 acres in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and we sell our crops at farmers markets and roadside stands around the area. I’ve been working in the business for 20 years alongside my dad and my husband.
We’re proud of our family farm and enjoy interacting with the communities that support us. We love to explain to our customers how we grow our products. This spring and summer, look for cut flowers, heirloom tomatoes, celeriac, sprouting broccoli, and all of our other regular offerings.
I’m at the market in Cleveland Park most of the time. We travel two hours each way to get there every Saturday morning. Thanks for shopping locally and eating seasonally!
Sidney Kuhn is a fifth generation owner of her family’s farm in Cashtown, Pennsylvania, outside of historic Gettsyburg:
Kuhn Orchards produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on more than 100 acres: apples, peaches, nectarines, pears, grapes, berries, plums, apricots, cherries, asparagus, tomatoes, pumpkins, onions, other vegetables, cut flowers and herbs. Our neighbors also process our fruit into products including apple cider, jams & jellies, canned peaches, and dried apples.
The family history of farming dates back to the 1840s! During the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate troops marched past the farm on their way to battle, and used our small barn (which still stands today) as a hospital for the wounded. In the 1910s, apples were packed in wooden barrels for export to England and baskets sent to markets in Pittsburgh and Baltimore. In the 1950s, members of the third generation of the family entered the operation and acquired an additional 100 acres. David Kuhn (fourth generation) returned to the farm in the 1970s along with his wife, Mary Margaret Barnes. I returned recently to farm the same ground and in 2012 took over operation ownership of the business.
Our first big harvest of purple asparagus is coming this year! We also hope to have a good crop of apricots and Japanese plums. We are planting red currants, Jupiter seedless grapes (everyone’s favorite variety), and doubling our rhubarb acreages this year.
At Cleveland Park most Saturday mornings you’ll see Tabby Amspacher working our booth. She is our markets coordinator and organizes all of the produce for markets.
We are committed to environmental stewardship:
- 150 acres of our productive agricultural land and forestland have been preserved for perpetuity; this land will never be developed
- 40 acres is enrolled in the Wetlands Reserve Program, which restored pasture to permanently preserved wetlands for wildlife habitat
- Forested riparian buffers are maintained along creeks and waterways to capture nutrient runoff
- Wildflower borders around our orchard blocks encourage a diversity of native pollinators
- Drip irrigation is utilized on all crops to conserve water
- Soil and leaf samples are pulled for nutrient analysis to prevent unnecessary fertilizer application
- Cover crops–thick stands of grass—are established between tree rows to prevent soil erosion and nutrient loss
- We limit the application of harmful chemicals; and when we do spray we do so at night to protect pollinators
- Liquid fertilizer lets us reduce our overall fertilizer use by 50%.
Toby Island Bay Oyster Farm
Daniel Grosse is the managing partner of Toby Island Bay Oyster Farm, a business he has run since 2007. They offer live oysters, live clams, and shucked oysters and clams in jars, along with personalized shucking knives and guidebooks to regional oyster farms and raw bars. Since they only sell freshly harvested oysters, you’ll only find their booth at the market from October til mid-May.
Here’s his story:
Like so many things in life, I came to the business by accident. I did some consulting work with Chesapeake and Long Island commercial fishermen who were having trouble supporting themselves in the face of diminishing wild shellfish stocks. Small-scale shellfish aquaculture offered an option to help preserve their marine-based livelihoods. Fast-forward a few years: We bought some waterfront property on Chincoteague Island, and for a while maintained a small oyster garden. One wholesaler, then others, became interested in our producing oysters commercially. And so things grew, in all senses.
I thrive on engaging with customers—an important personality trait in this sector—and have developed a faithful clientele. Many ask about preparation, and I provide a hard-copy notebook of oyster and clam recipes, which also appear on my website.
Markets provide other educational opportunities, too. Many customers are fascinated with how seemingly provincial oyster issues can be a window to more general links between environmental quality, marine resources, and human health. We chat about oyster farming basics. I show those who don’t know—and who want to learn—how to shuck. I encourage them to recycle shells at my tent for the Annapolis-based Oyster Recovery Program, so their shells contribute to new, living Chesapeake Bay oyster reefs. Two years ago wild baby oysters covered Chincoteague farmed oysters. It was great ecologically, but devastating agriculturally. Many were unsellable to restaurants and retailers. For me and my customers, it became an ecology lesson.