October 23, 2021

Fresh pickings in Virgil

Community supports farmers market Saturday

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Josephine Patyi, left, takes a tomato plant from David Hunsberger farmers market Saturday in Virgil.

Under the shade of a tent, Chris Applegate watched and talked Saturday with guests at Virgil’s farmers market.

“It’s great to see people again,” said Applegate, the market’s manager. “A couple of us are senior citizens and haven’t been out much and these are our friends that come out and so it’s wonderful to interact with the community again.”

Saturday marked the first day of the market’s season, which saw four vendors selling vegetables, plants, trinkets and eggs in front of Hollenbeck’s Cider Mill in Virgil.

One of the guests going from vendor to vendor, looking and talking to see what was available was Josephine Patyi of Virgil, buying lettuce, spinach and arugula.

“I’m glad it opened,” she said. “I was a little concerned, but we kept in touch with Chris Applegate and she told me today was going to be the first day.”

Patyi said she liked going because it was small, all the items sold were local and she could get gardening tips from vendors.

“It’s always good to support the locals,” said Jean Kaysen of Philadelphia, who spends time in the summer at a condo at Greek Peak Mountain Resort.

Kaysen said she stopped by as she wanted to see if Hollenbeck’s Cider Mill was open, saw it wasn’t but wanted to check out the market anyway. She ended up buying small plants and spinach.

“It’s something good for the community,” she said.

To help keep the market safe, vendors and guests were required to wear masks and be 6 feet apart, Applegate said. Vendors were also given hand sanitizer to keep their hands and tables clean.

Customers were discouraged from handling the items themselves and cash was put in a basket or bag each vendor had to collect.

“We’re just trying to keep the community safe,” Applegate said. “We’re already trying to keep them healthy by giving them good food so this is just the next step.”

Brennen Bush CQ’d HER, a vendor selling eggs, plants and craft bags made from recycled denim, said Saturday’s market helped bring back a sense of normalcy.

“I think it’s really nice just to remember we’re all going through this together,” she said.

The market is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays until the first week of October, Applegate said.