SPOONER– Nhia Vang, a Hmong farmer from Eau Claire, was up early on Saturday morning, making sure that the strawberries in his display were just right. Long shadows still hung over the parking lot of Spooner’s Hardware Hank, the new home of the Spooner Farmers’ Market and the heat of the day had not yet settled in. It was 6:45 a.m., a cool breeze was still present, and even though the market didn’t officially open until 8 a.m., Vang had a lot of pride in his produce and felt compelled to make sure everything was perfect.
A short time later, Jack Johnson and his wife, Terri, longtime Spooner residents, showed up to set up their display, Jack’s Java Company, a new coffee business. “It’s just a hobby,” said Jack. “I’ve always loved fresh brewed coffee.”
Lei Jerry of Spooner, the manager of the Spooner Farmers’ Market, arranged her various homemade pickles, salsa, peppers and jams at her “A Fine Pickle” booth.
“We are really excited about the market this year,” she said as people began arriving to take a look at what was available.
And much is available at the Spooner Farmers’ Market, from Jack Johnson’s coffee to Nhia and Sou Vang’s beautiful homegrown carrots, tomatoes, onions, and numerous other vegetables. They also specialize in colorful flowers.
Other vendors arrived to set up shop. Spooner Farmer’s Market is open from now until October’s Jack O’ Lantern Festival from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.
As Terry Kalstabakken and his father, Adrian Kalstabakken, of Spooner sold home canned dill pickles and hot pickled green beans, Rosemary Gray began playing “Roll Out the Barrel” on her accordion, a musical instrument linked to another era, a Northern Wisconsin of the past. But at the Spooner Farmers’ Market the lively tune seemed perfectly right, matching the small town feeling of the event and the friendly spirit of those gathered there. A loud applause from the other vendors and the customers greeted Rosemary when she finished and her face lit up with an ear-to-ear smile.
The American Spirit is alive and well. It lives on at a little corner farmer’s market in Spooner Wisconsin where pickles, coffee, vegetables and home grown friendliness is always in great supply.