Families of farmers shines at farmer's market

By Alyssa Donovan

July 8, 2013 Updated Jul 8, 2013 at 10:05 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Summer is the booming season for fresh fruit and produce.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the numbers of farmer's markets are on the rise.

Here at home, that popularity may be due in part to more than just the products, but the faces behind it all.

"It's nice to eat fresh and the people that haven't don't know what they're missing," said Brandi Ferretti, a fourth generation farmer out of Princeville.

“My great grandpa came here from Switzerland and started pedaling vegetables," said Ferretti. "Then my grandpa moved to Chillicothe and started selling to stores and to neighbors and then my mom she came down here with her brother in the 70's and they sold here on the riverfront."

Ferretti and her two daughters now run the stand at Peoria's Riverfront Market.

"The girls love it," she said. "It's hard in the field work, but when they get to come down to the market this is the fun part because they just get to help the customers. This is what we call our easier work."

6-year-old Sophie is still learning the ins and outs of the business.

"I just have to help customers and re-stock stuff," she said.

Ferretti said her 10-year-old daughter Ellie could practically run the stand herself.

"It teaches them a work ethic and my oldest one she can pretty much do everything an adult can do," she said.

"I usually help the customers so it helps me with my math skills in school," said Ellie.

Ferretti said customers also learn a thing or two shopping at her stand.

"A lot of people don't know how to prepare certain foods so you have to talk to them about how to prepare it, when it was picked, people want fresh food that is ready that hasn't been sitting for a while," she said.

That keeps local customers, like David Moechnig of East Peoria, coming back each year.

"It's fresh, it's really fresh. You know you get to know the grower you get to know the people that are producing what you’re eating. It's just really nice," said Moechnig.

The Riverfront Market is open every Saturday morning from June until September.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.