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Another beautiful day at Perham Farmers Market

Roxie Boss from Cedar Falls, Iowa, joins program coordinator Diane Matson at a recent Farmers Market in Perham. Spending the summer helping out her friend was relaxing and comforting, she said. This arrangement of produce was accompanied by an assortment of gourds and melons (not pictured). Photo by Christopher Michalski/FOCUS1 / 2
Diane Matson brought one of her few cross-pollinated squash to the Perham Farmers Market. The chance of her golden hubbard squash pollinating with a butternut is rare, she explained. The hybrid weighed at least 30 pounds and "always attracts the eyes of visitors." Photo by Christopher Michalski/FOCUS2 / 2

A sunny, summer breeze greeted Perham area gardeners Friday as they brought a wide array of their produce for sale at Perham Farmers Market.

Diane Matson, coordinator of the market located in the city's downtown, complimented the vendors and residents. "The market has been going great this year. Everybody who is involved in any way really appreciates it."

Roxie Boss, a friend of Matson's, was helping her manage her table. She and Matson had tomatoes, beets, onions, cucumbers, cabbage, melons, gourds, carrots, peppers and dill pickles.

"One week a woman came and bought all of her groceries," Roxie said.

Also offered for sale were jams and preserves - hot pepper, zucchini, salsa, cranberry, chokecherry, wild blueberry, jalapeno, and wild plum.

Diane has been in the produce marketing business for 30 year. She grows five acres of sweet corn on top of her four acres of produce.

Matson brought along one of her few rarities she brings every week; a hubbard squash that naturally cross-pollinated with butternut squash. The massive vegetable weighed at least 30 pounds.

A family effort joins Perham this year

A feeling of joy and happiness spread through the market while Chad Burkman's three children played in the park. Chad does most of the gardening, he said, while his wife helps with baking and canning. His children Ben, Morgan, and Isabella, join their mother and father in their garden.

"Our children are a great help. They've been doing this since they were born. When they head out to the garden to get us something, I'll know they'll be picking what we need," he said with a smile.

"It's good for them to know where all of this comes from. They help from planting, all the way through harvesting."

With a proud smile, Burkman said his wife Stephanie is now eight months pregnant. A few years from now, the Burkman family will have another helper on their hands.

Weaving her way to Perham

Donna Hoffman, of Vergas, displayed a large amount of homemade loom woven rugs. For 25 years she has been working on a loom with denim, chenille, fleece and cotton. She works with salvage edges fabric, which she gets straight from the mill.

"Using up clothing that would end up in a landfill is a great way to recycle," she said. "Years and years ago, this was how it was done."

Outside of working with her five looms, she offers jams and jellies of all varieties - chokecherry, raspberry peach, strawberry peach, blueberry rhubarb, strawberry rhubarb, and a triple fruit variety.

This is her first year in Perham. She also attends markets in Detroit Lakes.

"I have many repeat customers, all the way through craft fairs in the fall," said Hoffman.

Event information

The event will continue every Wednesday and Friday until October 11, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Diane Matson noted it may run longer in October, depending on when the frost hits.

For more information, Matson can be reached at 218-564-5887 or at 218-252-1809.