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Market Brings Fresh Foods to Park

On Wednesday morning, Gary Riggleman drove his truck from Capon Bridge, W.Va., to Sterling Park to bring fruits, vegetables, homemade jams and jellies to the farmers market.

Gary Rigglman drove two hours to set up his son, Calvin Riggelman's fruit and vegetable stand.

When Calvin Riggleman was on his first tour in Iraq in September 2003, he got the idea to bottle products off of his grandparent's West Virginia orchard. In May, the U.S. Marine corporal packed his bags for North Carolina. Calvin Riggleman is currently stationed at Camp Lajune, to prepare for his second tour in Iraq in September.

At 4 p.m., Gary Riggleman wrestled with the wind, to put up Calvin Riggleman's banner. The banner read 'Bigg Riggs.'

"I'm doing it for my son," he said.

THE STERLING FARMERS Market first Wednesday drew a diverse group of residents to Briar Patch Park on Sterling Boulevard.

Loudoun Farmers Market spokesperson Susana Calley said the market draws a crowd of customers every year.

Sterling resident Shirley Bookwalter has been coming to the outdoor market for seven years.

"I work right up the street," Bookwalter said. "I come here for the fresh food. It's nice to buy it this way, to support the local farmers."

On Wednesday, Bookwalter bought fresh vegetables from Tysons Farm.

Twenty-six year old Max Tyson drove from Glengary, W.Va., to Sterling Park with his 13-year-old brother, Miles Tyson.

Max Tyson said the hardest part about transporting fresh fruits and vegetables is making sure they stay cold.

"We pick everything within a few days, sometimes the day before and but it in cold storage. Forty degrees," Max Tyson said. "We put it in cold stage to get the heat out, so it doesn't continue to ripen."

"It's a long trip," Miles Tyson added.

Miles Tyson has been working at Loudoun Farmers Markets for two years. He will work at markets in West Virginia and Loudoun County all summer.

THE STERLING FARMERS Market is small, but it offers residents an opportunity to buy fresh produce. Many residents like Sapna Patel and her toddler, Nadia, shopped around the three stands and played on Briar Patch Park's playground.

"This market has a pretty regular, loyal customer base," Calley said, "and it draws the most ethnically diverse customers."

The market is open Wednesdays, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Briar Patch Park, off of Sterling Boulevard, in Sterling.