Kruse Farms with Vernon, Carol Ann and Dwayne Kruse

How long has your family been coming to Farmers’ Market?
We’ve been at the summer market for 38 years, but we always gardened at home, even before Vernon and I got married. Vernon and Dwayne are first cousins. We have two daughters that also work with the garden, but they work full-time off the farm, too.

What is your most popular market item?
Eggs and rutabagas are probably the best sellers, but we have such a wide variety of things. In the winter we have potatoes, squash, garlic, turnips, onions, and more. We don’t have a big cooler, so everything we have at market is either fresh or stored the “old fashioned” way in a root cellar. I think it changes the taste of things when they’ve been cooled.

Who cracks all those walnuts?
Dwayne does the walnuts and popcorn. Black walnuts have a really unique flavor and taste a lot different than the English walnuts you commonly find in the grocery store. Cracking them is a lot of work, though. We also sell the walnut shells and scraps as bird food – the birds really love it.

What do you have in that “soup in a bag”?
We package up the right amounts of cabbage, potatoes, onions and turnips that just need to be cut up and put in your soup. We also have a wide variety of dried herbs to flavor it – only $1 a bag.

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