CRESTVIEW — Local vendors gathered at the farmer’s market on a cool, crisp summer Saturday to set out their products.
One of the first vendors to begin setting up was Bob Sieminski, owner of Forest Farms in Holt. He pulled his van under the pavilion, opened the trunk, and began unloading his produce.
Sieminski has a variety of products like raw milk, eggs, honey, fruits and vegetables. He said all of his goods are completely organic. His farm has 35 bee hives, around 100 chickens, dairy cows, a garden, and two greenhouses, he said.
Sieminski has been bringing produce from his farm in Holt to the Crestview Farmer’s Market for three years.
“I love Crestview,” Sieminski said. “I would take Crestview over Palafox any day.”
Sieminski said he loves farming, but the job does not come without challenges.
“It’s always something,” Sieminski said. “I lost a dairy cow a month ago…I put two thousand dollars in the ground.”
The challenges Sieminski faces have not kept him from farming full-time.
“Why do I like it? What else would I do? I’m retired,” Sieminski said.
Sieminski was not the only regular set up at the market. Esther Phelps and her husband unloaded their van full of fruits and vegetables onto the table sitting next to Sieminski. They have been coming out to the Crestview Farmer’s Market for four years.
Phelps said she grows her produce at local farms and in the community garden occasionally but has her own garden at home.
“In self-defense, we grow so we can eat and eat good food. But the rest we sell,” Phelps said. “Most of the time, we feed ourselves first and bring to the market what’s left.”
Phelps has one regular customer from Crestview, Wayne Gauthier. He said he enjoys the good produce at the farmer's market and likes talking to members of the community.
"I've been going to farmer's markets and stuff like this for 15 years now, and I find it's great in the summer time," Gauthier said.
The farmer's market sells more than just fruits and vegetables.
Dena Anderson started bringing her home-made goodies to the farmer’s market three months ago and has continued to come consistently.
“I just enjoy feeding people…I’m not going to stop doing what I like to do. I’m just going to share it with more people,” Anderson said.
Anderson prepares for the market by spending her week baking pies, bread, and muffins. She also makes jams to go along with the baked goods.
The farmer’s market is located behind the Crestview Police Department and opens at 8 a.m. every Saturday.