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Going to market with more farm offerings

Josephine McCormick, Maryellen, Georgina and Atticus stand outside the family farm that has been passed down for the past six generations. [Damon Maclean]

For years, Wellesley Township’s Josephine McCormick and her family have chosen to forego the usual farmers’ markets, opting for some form of on-farm produce sales to the public. Her mother started selling pumpkins at the corner of Gerber Road when she was a teenager, and the operation eventually expanded over the years to include more produce such as sweet corn, tomatoes, beans, and other summer items.

Now, the family is expanding the sales process of Fall Harvest Farm further by opening a farmers’ market building on their property.

They started building the new structure last year specifically for selling produce and other items directly on the farm. McCormick says they are doing this to not only give residents an easier way to buy their produce, but also to get easy access to the goods produced by other farmers and members of the community, items that will be available at the new shop.

“[This is about] supporting local small businesses, especially during this time, because it’s not just them (the community) supporting me as a local business, I’m also supporting 10 or 15 other farms … but I am supporting other small businesses. In return, [I hope] that the general public supports us,” said McCormick.

There will be many goods offered to the public once they officially open the new building in the coming weeks. In selling items produced on other farms, the operation gives the public a chance to get them all in one place without having to travel to the bigger markets. Doing so expands the range of offerings beyond what’s produced on the farm itself.

They will be offering in-season fruits and vegetables and items from other farms such as baked goods, for instance, because they don’t have a bakery, she added. In supporting other local businesses, there will be a lot of canned goods, meats and summer sausage.

Hoping to cut the proverbial ribbon and host a grand opening in the coming weeks, McCormick does not yet have a firm date when she wants to officially open the doors, however, she is aiming for July 10. Once they do officially open their doors, customers will be able to start coming seven days a week.

Customers will immediately be greeted by coronavirus-related safety measures, including directional arrows, one entrance and exit to the building and plexiglass barriers. McCormick says masks are recommended but not currently mandatory but, that could change depending on whether the region opts to change that in the future.

Given her education in agriculture and plans for a career in farming, McCormick said she looks forward to growing the farm and everything it has to offer.

The on-farm market at the Fall Harvest Farm will be open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The operation is located at 1011 Gerber Rd., south of Bamberg.

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