Farmers Market to plant seeds in Falls

by Jeff Pederson Sheboygan Falls News Editor


PETER AND RYAN HAASE, pictured left and right respectively, are set to launch the Sheboygan Falls Farmers Market this Saturday, July 12, at River Park in downtown Sheboygan Falls. The farmers market will continue each Saturday, with the exception of Saturday, Aug. 30, through Saturday, Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Falls News photo by Jeff Pederson PETER AND RYAN HAASE, pictured left and right respectively, are set to launch the Sheboygan Falls Farmers Market this Saturday, July 12, at River Park in downtown Sheboygan Falls. The farmers market will continue each Saturday, with the exception of Saturday, Aug. 30, through Saturday, Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Falls News photo by Jeff Pederson Something that has been a long time coming is finally about to arrive in Sheboygan Falls.

Brothers Peter and Ryan Haase are set to open the Sheboygan Falls Farmers Market this Saturday, July 12, at River Park in downtown Sheboygan Falls.

The Sheboygan Falls natives are eager to bring the farmers market concept to their hometown.

“When I’ve gone to other farmers markets in the area, I run into people from Sheboygan Falls, who often ask why we don’t have a farmers market here,” Peter Haase said. “When Ryan and I got to thinking about all the interest that is out there, we thought it was something worth pursuing.

“There is a movement today toward fresh grown food and a farmers market is the best place to start for that,” he said. “We also thought it would be a good opportunity to showcase River Park and our downtown to more people and to give back to the community as well.”

The Sheboygan Falls Farmers Market vending area will be located on both sides of the paved walkway from the brown bridge to the west of the Municipal Building parking lot, north toward the small white pedestrian bridge.

No vendors will be allowed to drive vehicles into the park to drop off items. As a result, all items must be carried or hand carted into the park from one of the adjacent parking lots.

“We thought about Settlers Park, but there is not a lot of parking and it just isn’t set up right for a farmers market,” Peter said. “River Park is really the centerpiece of the city and I think the best setting around for what we want to do.

“People will have to park in one of the parking lots and carry their items in with a wagon or a cart,” he said. “We have talked about purchasing a cart to assist people in transporting their goods. It is hard to know what to expect right now. After we get it going, we will be able to adjust things if we have to make it better for the vendors and the customers.”

The market, which will run from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. each Saturday through Saturday, Sept 27, with the exception of Saturday, Aug. 30, will feature exclusively homegrown food and handmade items.

“It is open to people selling homegrown fruits, vegetables, flowers, as well as hand and homemade crafts and baked goods,” Peter said. “We are also encouraging musicians to come down and be part of the market experience.”

Under the terms of the agreement with the city, the Sheboygan Falls Farmers Market will not allow food trucks, direct sales, independent consultants or flea market garage sale vendors.

According to Ryan Haase, the market will place a strong emphasis on local businesses.

“We are really hoping to attract local businesses, because our goal is to help them out as much as we can,” Ryan said. “We want to see Sheboygan Falls thrive and grow and we think adding something like a farmers market can be big in bringing in new people and encouraging them to support our local businesses.”

The Haase brothers are also interested in giving back to the city of Sheboygan Falls, as 50 percent of all vending fees will go to support the city’s parks system.

“We are very excited to be able to give back to the city to support the parks,” Peter said. “We aren’t doing this for the money. We will not be bringing in a huge income from this at all. We are just hoping to be able to cover the cost of advertising and supporting our vendors the best that we can.

“We are also looking at starting a non-profit that would take another large portion of the vendor fees and direct them to a community service project or school group,” he said. “Our thought right now is to start up a college fund for high school seniors.”

After graduating from Sheboygan Falls High School in 1997, Ryan added Moraine Park Technical College in Fond Du Lac, where he earned a degree in culinary arts, sustainable agriculture and hydroponic produce.

He started working at the Osthelder Saloon in 2008 and purchased the business from Peter in 2013.

“I really got into the farmers market concept at Moraine Park,” Ryan said. “I did a work/study that operated under the farm to plate concept. It is a movement that is here to stay and we are trying to do all that we can to promote that type of thinking in Sheboygan Falls.”

Peter, who graduated from Sheboygan Falls High School in 1998, is familiar to many in Sheboygan Falls as the owner of the Osthelder Saloon from 2007 to 2013.

He now works as a real estate agent at Re/Max Universal Realty in Sheboygan Falls.

While farmers markets are normally geared to fresh produce, Ryan said local restaurants are encouraged to participate.

“Prepared food will be able to be sold at the market,” Ryan said. “We have a great handout that goes over all of the rules and regulations for serving prepared food at a farmers market and anyone can request one from us.

“Restaurants will need to apply for licenses with the state and county health and human service departments,” he said. “There are rules that need to be followed by anyone serving on or off-site prepared food, as well as ciders, canned goods, honey or molasses.

Outside of prepared food, no licenses will be required for vendors looking to sell fresh produce or handmade items.

In order to gauge the vendor turnout and to ensure that sales agreements are in place, the Haases are asking those that plan to sell goods at the market to contact them in advance.

“We would definitely like people to contact us in advance, so we can get the contracts filled out and make sure that they don’t need any special license from the state or county,” Ryan said. “We’ve had a couple of vendors that have already committed, but we really don’t know what to expect in the first few weeks.

“After the first couple weeks, we will have a better idea about how many vendors we will have, and what type of items will be for sale,” he said. “We will most likely try to get the word to the public about particular vendors that will be featured.”

Vendor space is available for $15 per week or $110 for the season. Vendors are encouraged to arrive early to set up their vending area.

“I will be at the park at 7 a.m. and I would ask that vendors arrive by 8 a.m. to get set up,” Ryan said.

Shortly after the Sheboygan Falls Farmers Market earned the backing of the Sheboygan Falls Common Council, Peter and Ryan began to receive an outpouring of support and praise for their new endeavor.

“The reaction has been amazing,” Ryan said. “People seem to be really excited about it. There are people in Falls that have had to travel to Sheboygan, Plymouth or Elkhart Lake to attend a farmers market and now they will have one in their own backyard.

“We think there are a lot of reciprocal benefits for everyone involved, including customers, vendors, local businesses owners and city officials.”

For more information or to reserve a vending space, contact Peter Haase at 207-4745, Ryan Haase at 917-8505 or 334-5335 or e-mail sheboyganfallsfarmersmarket@gmail.com

“We encourage people to contact us with any questions or to sign up as a vendor,” Peter said. “We also have a Facebook page and we are always open to meeting people in person by appointment. This is an exciting time for us and we can’t wait to get going.”


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