| Jun 25, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - June 25, 2009 Farming fathers had little time to celebrate their dayby Julie Druker

Daughter Melissa and Ernie Sands of Sands’ Produce

Though Saturday’s occasional drizzle kept large crowds away, many families and couples were still out taking advantage of the many local treats up for grabs at the Verona Farmers’ Market in preparation for Father’s Day Sunday.

For many father/vendors, however, paid work seemed to be the most common activity planned for their annual day of recognition.

Regular market vendor Oliver Haan of Haanover View Farms, who sells his ecologically raised pork, was holding down the fort with his son Noah. Father’s Day will be significantly different this year for him and his family. He informed me, “On Father’s Day we will be at two different farmers’ markets this year; my wife and two of the kids will be in Bath and I will be at the Shriner’s market in Kingston.”

He added, “The economics of commodity pork and farming mean that we have to be out there aggressively marketing our products so we have to forfeit our weekends, including Father’s Day, to do the markets to keep our farm going.” This year they will sell at five markets every weekend compared to the three they did regularly last year.

A few stalls down, Ernie Sands and his daughter Melissa of Sands’ Produce were selling their locally-grown strawberries. They inform me there will be not a lot of time given to Father’s Day celebrations. The family has a pick-your-own strawberry operation which will be open and they will be also be at the Shriner’s farmers’ market in Kingston.

Vendor Mike Dumbleton, a father of two, was holding down the fort for his wife Judy of Judy’s Jams, Jellies, and Jarfuls who was herself selling at another market that day. Both work full time and sell Judy’s products on the weekends.

“Tomorrow I’ll be helping Judy where she is selling and then I’m hoping to do a bit of fishing Sunday and, if I’m lucky, eat some fish that my daughter will likely prepare. If not, we’ll have a barbeque.”

Happy to see other fathers and their families buying their products and loading up on fresh strawberries, baked goods, local cheeses, meats and other locally-made products to make a special Sunday Father’s Day meal, these farming fathers unfortunately seem to be finding it harder these days to take the time off from work to celebrate their special day.

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