Merrill Farmer?s Market celebrates 20 years
The Merrill Area Farmer’s Market is celebrating its 20th year and going strong thanks to the hard work and perseverance of Lavern and Dave Sauer and their wives.They started the market in 1990.
Lavern & Bernice Sauer were marketers in the Wausau Market since 1975. At that time the Wausau market featured only about half a dozen vendors. Known as the jelly lady, Bernice served as market manager of the Wausau market for several years. They thought the Merrill area would enjoy a farmer’s market also, so David and JoAnn Sauer joined them in starting one.
It was quite a challenge for them, but Merrill can be proud of the progress they made. JoAnn worked hard to get the WIC program started in Lincoln County, which made fresh fruits and vegetables available to low income families. They’ve participated in parades, promotions, and have held annual feeds and are a source of information about gardening to customers and vendors alike.
The market is continuing to improve. This year some vendors have been offering pickled peppers, beets, mushrooms and asparagus. Bread & butter pickles, kosher dill pickles and green tomatoes, canned peaches, applesauce and rhubarb sauce, horseradish spread, many kinds of jams and jellies, and olive oil have been offered this year, along with elk sausage and roasts. Plans for next year include the addition of a honey vendor.
Farmer’s Market vendors have noticed parents bringing their children, who can name the vegetables at the vendors’ tables.
“We’re sure the day care groups that visit us regularly during the summer and show their children our food deserve some credit for that,” said Farmer’s Market vendor Joni Jackson.
“We want to thank all our faithful customers for supporting us and remind everyone we are open every Wednesday and Saturday morning until November,” Jackson added.