BONNERS FERRY — Yoder’s Fresh Market has continued to expand both with the store and with the community. Every Tuesday from 3-7 p.m. outside the building, they are hosting vendors selling locally grown produce as well as homegrown and homemade items, such as jams and dried flowers.
Their first market on June 26 produced two vendors: Homestead Produce, owned by Jordan and Kayla Dyck, who sold fresh strawberries, cabbage, green beans, zucchini, and broccoli, among other produce.
“I started five years ago and moved to full time during the summer, so I figured I would try and see what happened,” said Jordan Dyck. “I have a few cherry tomatoes, strawberries, cabbage, broccoli, and lots more to come.”
The second vendor was Cloud 11 Mountain Farms, owned by Edward and Julie Newcomb, featuring unique produce for the area.
After moving to the area, the Newcombs decided to search for advice and tips from the University of Idaho’s Extension Office and took agricultural classes to better understand the trade.
“Art Church inspired us to try growing lots of different things,” said Julie Newcomb. “We are trying to grow pomegranates now, so we have cherries, plums, apples, blueberries, strawberries, dogwood, seaberry, and all these odd things.”
With their gardens and orchard, the Newcombs bring a variety to the Boundary County fresh markets.
“We started the market this year, and we wanted to support the Yoders as they have provided us with another venue,” said Julie Newcomb.
Cloud 11 Mountain Farm has begun to dig its roots into Boundary County, not only in the soil, but in community support as well.
“We are off to a start, today is a bit small, but it is early in the year and a lot of people don’t have ripe produce yet,” said Henry Yoder about the first Tuesday sale. “People are really excited about it. I think it’s just a bit early.”
Yoder has also issued 9B signs to the vendors which notify the buyers that all of the goods and produce are grown and made in Boundary County.
Amanda Heigel is the proprietor of Lost Mile Farms, which made their appearance at the Yoders outdoor market during the second Tuesday of operation on July 3.
“I have got some heritage varieties that I am growing this year such as purple radishes, kale, rare plants that produce orange flavored berries in the fall,” said Heigel. “I thought it would be cool to make an orange marmalade this fall with something that I grew myself.”
Heigel was introduced to a company that searches for rare heirloom seeds and sells them to buyers.
“I kinda went nuts with their catalogue, so I have like 20 different kinds of tomatoes, a bunch of different kinds of peppers, melons, squash, and more,” said Heigel. “Eventually I am going to have some dark black corn, orange corn, and brown corn, and hopefully some strawberry topped corn, just fun stuff.”
Heigel’s primary goal was to provide fresh food to her family, as well as her mother, sister, and brother’s houses, then she discovered that she had a lot of extra, so she decided to bring her wares to the markets.
“So far, so good — people seem to like it and I get to meet a lot of really cool people,” said Heigel.
The idea has received a positive response over the past few months that the Yoder’s have put out the word, from both local producers and residents.
“I am really glad they are here mid week, Saturday morning is sometimes hard to get down to town to pick up stuff for the week,” said customer Lynn Haworth. “We should all buy from local people, you know, they are growing this stuff for us, so I don’t have to have a big garden that takes all of my time. This is great!”
As the growing season continues to bear fruits and vegetables, those residing in Boundary County or just passing through, have another opportunity to buy fresh, local produce and support the local economy, families, and friends.