June 14, 2013

Producing produce at the Farmers' Market

The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — They'd like to show folks what they've grown.

Doug, Denise, and Dylan Rodwell of 3D Farms south of Oskaloosa are regulars at the Farmers' Market in Oskaloosa. People stopping by their booth can get ahold of a variety of vegetation, depending on what's in season.

The Rodwell's have been selling fruits and vegetables at the Farmers' Market in Oskaloosa since 1995, noted Doug. In that time, Doug said the produce they've brought to their table at the market has gotten better and better. He attributes this to the fact that they've been able to offer new variety of produce such as tomatoes.

At this past week's Farmers' Market, the Rodwells' table wast brimming with radishes and tomato plants. Doug said in a couple of weeks there would be green beans, cucumbers, zucchinis and other produce available.

“We'll be done with radishes in another week and we'll be selling zucchinis and cucumbers and cabbages and broccoli and stuff like that,” said Doug this past Tuesday.

Of course, weather plays a big part in growing any kind of produce. Doug noted that the fact that this year has been rather wet has made things a little difficult. This is quite the contrast from drought conditions that plagued much of Iowa this past year.

“We used a lot of water,” explained Doug while discussing growing season in 2012. “We bought water and we hauled water and pumped water. But, the quality of the produce in dry weather was outstanding and the flavor was better because it's dryer.

“If it stays wet all sumer this year, it's going to be tough to get the super high quality being waterlogged.”

The overall quality of produce one can get at a Farmers' Market is second to none, according to Doug.

“It's picked within 12 hours,” said Doug. “It's as fresh as you can get.”

One of the most popular Farmers' Market items are tomatoes, Doug said, adding that the length of tomato season may play a part in that. Green beans, onions, and sweet corn are also popular.

Selling produce at the Farmers' Market has a social element.

“You kind of get to know your regular customers and that's kind of nice,” Denise said.

Denise said she's grateful for what her son, Dylan, does for the family during the Farmers' Market.

“He does a lot,” she said.

Farmers' Markets are held Tuesdays 4 to 6 p.m. on the east side of the Oskaloosa square and 8 to 11 a.m. Saturdays south of the Hy-Vee parking lot on South D Street, near the basketball courts.


Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at news2@oskyherald.com.