Farmers market profile: Hackman Family Farm Market

The Seymour Area Farmers Market will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Walnut Street Parking Lot located south of the railroad tracks near the Jackson County Public Library in Seymour. The market also is open from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesdays.

Here’s a look at one of the vendors and their products.

Hackman Family Farm Market

Janet VanLiew, Chad VanLiew and Megan VanLiew

Three-year vendor at the Seymour Area Farmers Market

What items do you sell at the farmers market?

We sell sweet corn, watermelons, cantaloupe, peppers, potatoes, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, cabbage, spaghetti squash, onions and cucumbers.

Where is your farm located?

Our farm and farm market are in southern Jackson County, 8 miles south of Brownstown in Vallonia at 6077 S. State Road 135. We have a farm market there as well as on West State Road 56 in Salem.

How long have you been growing the items you sell at the market?

We’ve been raising melons in our family for seven generations, but we started our farm market in 2012. Our family also raises 450 head of cattle and farms 1,700 acres of corn and soybeans.

Do you farm full time or is this a side business or hobby for you?

We started our market as a way to pay for college for our family of four children, but it has turned into a full-time business that supports 18 part-time employees and three full-time employees.

What made you want to start your farm?

In seven generations, the family has only ever wholesaled melons. This is the first generation to sell retail fruits and vegetables with a business front. It was a new endeavor with a population pushing toward locally grown food. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to start growing for our friends and neighbors. Our family’s love for the farm and gardening led to us starting the farm market.

What about the market makes it beneficial to you as a farmer?

We love the opportunity to meet the customers that can’t drive to Vallonia but still want to support their local farmer. We also appreciate the chance to answer questions about local agriculture and interact with other local growers.

What do you enjoy most about selling your goods locally?

We enjoy seeing our local doctors, nurses, teachers, city workers and other people in the community in a more relaxed setting and becoming their friends. We enjoy becoming someone they can trust to bring them quality food that they would be proud to serve their family. We also enjoying being able to show and tell customers where their produce is grown.

Why do you think folks should shop the market?

The wide array of vegetables, crafts, meats, etc. is far higher quality than you can buy in the store when it comes to freshness and quality. On top of that, you can buy from people who genuinely care about your happiness as a customer and will remember you from week to week. You know that a local farmer is invested locally, and I believe people love to support their community.