Lincoln farmers market attracts variety of vendors
By Rebekah Sutter, NewsNetNebraska
Some vendors at the Haymarket Farmers Market in Lincoln have been regular booth renters for many years. Vendors may even hand down their stall to the next generation. Here are a few stories of some of the veteran vendors.
Robert C. Johnson from North Bend, Neb., started selling watermelons and vegetables at the Lincoln Haymarket Farmers Market in the 1980s as a way to support his family after his farm was foreclosed on. He was one of the first vendors to have a booth at the farmers market.
Thirty years later, his daughter Cheryl Bose has taken over the family business. Each year, they add more fresh produce to their stand. This year, the family decided to dehydrate peppers. Bose says their goal is to try to keep up with what customers want.
Cheryl Bose talks about her father, Robert Johnson and his specialty produce at the farmers market:
A few stalls down from Bose’s stand, sits Willard and Jackie Schowalter of Lincoln. They have had a stand at the farmers market for 25 out of their 58 years of marriage. The Schowalter’s sell various crafts such as knitted and crocheted hats and gloves but specialize in metal rocking chairs made from parts such as wheels and horseshoes. Each rocking chair takes about two hours to make by hand. Jackie Schowalter says the unpainted rocking chairs sell just as well as the painted ones.
The two of them enjoy seeing the variety of items sold at the market throughout the season which runs from the first Saturday in May to the second Saturday in October.
Willard Schowalter talks about what it takes to create his metal rocking chairs:
In the center of the farmers market, is a family who have owned a farm for more than 50 years. Helgoth Farms sits just north of Grand Island Neb. Haley Helgoth has been working with her family at the Haymarket Farmers Market for 22 years. The family grows watermelons, squash, gourds, cantaloupe, large pumpkins and other farm fresh produce.
Helgoth says the sense of community among the vendors is part of the reason they come back each year. For many of the vendors, multiple generations are involved in the family business. Some vendors even remember Helgoth when she was a little girl.
Haley Helgoth talks about the sense of community associated with the farmers market:
These are the stories of people who make the Haymarket Farmers Market a success for many years. The variety of vendors add to the variety of products available to the customers that keep coming back year after year.