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Winter farmers market to open indoors on Saturday

WOODSTOCK – Started because of a couple suggestions from summer market regulars, the winter edition of the Woodstock Farmers Market needed funds from its summer counterpart.

That will change this year.

“The first year was kind of a trial and we sort of supported it with summer market funds,” said Market Manager Keith Johnson. “Last year, we supported it with about half summer market funds. And this year, it’s on it’s own – it’s supporting itself.”

The growing popularity of the Woodstock Farmers Market’s Winter Market – from customers and vendors alike – has market management preparing for its most successful November through April yet.

The winter market kicks off Saturday. It runs 9 a.m. to noon on the first three Saturdays of November, the first four Saturdays of December, and the first Saturday in January, February, March and April.

On each day, 22 vendors will fill the McHenry County Farm Bureau Building, 1102 McConnell Road, Woodstock.

Last year, the winter market attracted about 18 vendors. Because of space issues, the market had to turn away some winter vendors this year, Johnson said.

Vendors have caught on to the prospect of extra income, he said. And while some farmers don’t have much to offer during the winter, others are adapting for the winter market.

“We’re more into storage items like potatoes, onions, squash,” Johnson said. “I do have one grower that’s trying to grow things in a heated greenhouse, so we’re hoping we have some greens.”

Products such as meats, cheese and eggs, and nonfarm offerings such as bakery items and honey, also are available during the winter.

Woodstock is the only farmers market in McHenry County with a winter market, but that could change. “More and more markets are doing it,” Johnson said.

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