Farmers Market begins Saturday

Vendors will set up near Sparkle Car Wash

-Messenger file photo
Lydia Schmoker, of Fort Dodge, showcases some of the freshly-picked tomatoes from her family’s garden at the Fort Dodge Area Farmers Market in 2020.

Honey, fruits, vegetables and kettle corn are just a few of the locally produced goods that visitors can expect to see when the Fort Dodge Farmers Market begins on Saturday.

The Farmers Market will be set up east of the Sparkle Car Wash, 319 S. 25th St., near Ja-Mar Drive In Restaurant.

Through Oct. 23, the markets will go from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Kendal Pliner, market manager, will be one of the vendors. He will be selling kettle corn, which he has done for about the past 12 years.

Prior to that, his father, Elmer Pliner, bought a popper.

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Bill Bush, of Callender, pours a sample of Garden Winery wine for a customer at the Fort Dodge Area Farmer’s Market at the Crossroads Mall parking lot in 2020.

“My dad bought a regular popper for popping popcorn many years ago for his grandkids,” Kendal Pliner, of Fort Dodge, said. “We did that at the fairgrounds for several years for his grandkids.”

Eventually, Kendal Pliner became interested.

“I liked the kettle corn so started doing kettle corn,” he said. “I’ve got my grandkids helping me now doing kettle corn.”

The Farmers Markets are enjoyable because he can meet people and try local produce.

“It’s fun to meet people,” Kendal Pliner said. “And the tomatoes are good. Once we get sweet corn on it’s a whole lot better. That’s when things really pick up is when we get sweet corn.

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Bev Jackson, of Gowrie, sells her home-baked goods at the Fort Dodge Area Farmers Market in the Crossroads Mall parking lot each Wednesday and Saturday. Some of Jackson’s recipes, like her zucchini bread, use produce she grows in her home garden.

“As a vendor I enjoy it because I get to meet people and people are used to coming and getting kettle corn and vegetables and stuff.”

Carol Stripling, of Clare, will be another vendor on hand.

She and her husband, Craig, sell honey and various bee wax products.

It all started for the couple when they retired from teaching at Fort Dodge community schools over 11 years ago.

“We just wanted a hobby and Craig had bees when he grew up, so that’s what we did,” Carol Stripling said. “Craig is the bee man.”

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Corn, tomatoes, peppers and other produce are available from local growers at the Fort Dodge Area Farmers Market in the Crossroads Mall parking lot.

She said they have about 100 hives on their property. The market offers a chance to meet new people and share their products.

“It’s a good outlet for our honey and we get to meet a lot of people and see a lot of our friends that come to the market,” she said.

Stripling anticipates a variety of products being available at the market including: fresh farm eggs, jewelry, fruits, vegetables, jams and wine.

“We are hoping for a big crowd this year and that people are ready to get out and get their local produce and local items in our area,” Stripling said.


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