In our 10th year, the Great Falls Farmers Market continues its journey of bringing wholesome food and fine artisan creations to our Great Falls community. A carefully curated market, here are the voices of a few of the remarkable vendors you will find at the market on every Saturday morning throughout the year, in their own words…
Michael Sideris, Vordonia Athenolia Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
“As a child I would accompany my mom as she walked the mountainside in search of wild greens and mountain tea. I would sit on my father’s plow to give it extra weight. I helped harvest and press our Rare Athenolia Olives. We would spend spring and summer by the River Evrotas, working on our garden side by side with all other villagers. We ate seasonal food, and everything was freshly grown. We thrashed wheat for flour and bartered for sugar and salt. The wine was homemade as was the moonshine. I drank water from natural springs and the river. Living in the USA has not changed us much. We brought over all our herbs, vegetables and even grapes and planted them in our backyards. We sell our family extra virgin olive oil, EVOO, grown in Greece. Not only do we eat well, but almost everything we need is within our arms’ length. Cooking is an expression of love of family and friends...
At the Great Falls Farmers Market, I share my love, respect and life-long passion with anyone who wants to listen to a bit of history. I am so fortunate that my father was smart enough to understand and appreciate what our ancient ancestors founded and left for us, orchards of Athenolia olive trees. My father took the time to show and teach me how lucky we are and all I have to do is maintain the majestic ancient Athenolia olive trees and I will be able to reproduce the finest, purest, most honest EVOO each year. I am so pleased that the Great Falls community recognizes the exceptional flavor and texture of my family’s olive oil and have enthusiastically embraced our EVOO as part of their daily diet.”
Gwen Whittiker, GreenFare Restaurant
“GreenFare is a certified organic whole-plant restaurant that offers “good eating”: Food that you enjoy while you are eating it, that gives you energy and makes you feel good afterwards, and that has a low impact on the environment. GreenFare offers delicious, fresh-prepared food for people to eat at the market or take home each week. The Great Falls Farmers Market provides an important opportunity for us to showcase organic, whole plant food as a solution to customers who are seeking to maintain or improve their health.
GreenFare's mission is to bring nutritious food without the animal products, salt, oil, and sugar that most restaurants use: Our fresh ingredients are minimally processed and our menu is aligned with those doctors who recommend “Food As Medicine” to prevent and reverse chronic illness and provide optimal nutrition for athletic performance. Local-area doctors regularly prescribe our “21-Day Kick-start Program” as a remedy for diabetic and cancer patients, among others. Great Falls customers are sophisticated food shoppers, and appreciate our high-quality ingredients, fine taste, and the transformative benefits of a whole-plant diet.”
Stefanie Stierhoff, Power & Balance Fitness & Nutrition
“Power & Balance Fitness and Nutrition’s CRAZY delicious products, Nut-Nola and Seed-Nola, came from a need to access information other than what big companies provide from their high-paid marketing firms. Fitness and food have always been a part of my life. I was a chef in New York for several years, always in some activity, and in the gym. I was diagnosed with Lupus over 30 years ago. Over the past 30+ years I have researched food as it relates to providing what the body needs for health and performance. At the age 56, I am compelled to share the knowledge I have gained with others so they may improve their health --- whatever that means to customers and curious folks…losing weight, sleeping better, eating for health, cooking for health, etc.
Feeding your body the nutrients it requires to perform its best – for both brain and body performance - means eating foods that are delicious, chemical-free, low-sugar, fresh foods direct from farm-to-table, while avoiding foods that cause negative health effects (processed, high sugar, chemical-laden).
Young families and seniors alike visit our booth at the Great Falls market, either curious about the product or are attracted by the fitness and health aspect of the signage. They appreciate the taste and healthy-living aspects, low-carb, organic, vegan, gluten-free, soaked/sprouted nuts and seeds, of Nut-Nola and Seed-Nola at first. Then they come to appreciate the high-integrity of what we put into our uncompromising process and ingredients as well as the specialty items we offer each week. There are no other foods like the foods we offer anywhere.
The Great Falls Farmers Market is unique in how it is carefully curated with the wellbeing of the community as its central motivation. The vendors feel supported with the flexibility of the market manager, and the weekly newsletter. The community reads the newsletter and comes prepared to do their weekly shopping. The manager appreciates the hard work it takes for each vendor to come with their products and put the time into being there under all weather conditions -- this means a lot to the success of the market for both vendor and customer.”
Jerry Fields, Jerry’s Organic Berries
“Why berries? Berries offer health benefits found in few other foods due to the power and diversity of the phytochemicals they contain. Numerous laboratory peer-reviewed studies have documented significant benefits in cancer, heart health, diabetes, dementia/Alzheimer's and arthritis. A University of Florida study even demonstrated a correlation between phytochemical diversity and weight management. Berries offer the widest range of phytochemical diversity of nearly any food group. Why organic? Unfortunately, berries are usually top of the list for pesticides and numerous studies have shown statistical ties to pesticide over-use and several diseases- especially among the at-risk groups of the very young and the elderly.”
Jo So, Plain & Simple
“For me, good eating means enjoying foods that benefit your health, your mind and makes you happy.
Vending at the market is a way to express my passion for baking, and a way to connect with others through food.
I do what I do because I enjoy being creative in the kitchen. I enjoy carrying out new ideas I have.
My Great Falls customers are loyal, friendly and appreciate the sense of community that our market provides.
In several of my recipes, I use natural sugars and fruit purées and most of my cakes are made with olive oil rather than butter. This has been one of my most rewarding alterations. I strive to incorporate either a fruit or vegetable in each recipe, whether sweet or savory, and my rule of thumb has always been, if I wouldn't give it to my family, I wouldn't give it to my customers. I'm still a work in progress. There is always room for improvement.”
Craig Hagaman, High View Farm
“We raise grass -fed Scottish Highland cattle, which we chose to raise because they produce a full-flavored, low fat, low cholesterol meat - being lower in cholesterol than any other red meat, including buffalo. We also raise Heritage Berkshire pork, known for a flavorful well-marbled meat, which we pasture-raise. All of our animals are raised without GMOs, hormones or antibiotics and are treated with kindness and respect, giving them a life worth living.”
Ken Matich, Liberty Hill Farm
“Liberty Hill Farm is committed to bringing only good food that is chemical-free, nutritious and tasty to market. Real food is real medicine. It's not enough to eat food that is chemical free, it also has to be nutritious. The only way for the food to be nutritious is for the soil that feeds the produce and animals to be rich in nutrients. Nutritious feed results in tasty food. We free range our pork and poultry and provide them organically grown, GMO-free, mineral-rich feed. Our steers are 100% grass fed, grass/chemical-free hay finished. What we offer our animals to nourish them is what is passed on to those who eat the food we bring to market.
Liberty Hill Farm enjoys the Great Falls community. We appreciate meeting and talking with customers and providing products that they appreciate for what goes into the production. Liberty Hill Farm is a family endeavor. My wife and I and our two children work hard to produce pure food for our family and our customers.
We offer the Great Falls community a wide variety of products from meats to prepared foods. Some customers like to prepare their own food, so they buy the meats. Some customers like the quality and variety of the prepared pot pies, quiches and soups we offer. We look forward to Saturdays at the Great Falls Farmers Market, full of quality vendors, customers and a spirit of community that we thoroughly enjoy.”
Richard Sarhanis, Real Country Sausage
“When you purchase Real Country Sausage you purchase 100% natural sausage that contains No Gluten, No Nitrates, No Preservatives. Real Country Sausage uses NO ADDITIVES, just spices!”
Great Falls Community Farmers Market
The Great Falls Community Farmers Market is a producer-only market that was established as a result of the Great Falls community’s 2020 Vision Survey conducted in March 2007 in which residents expressed the need for a farmers market as part of a vibrant semi-rural village center in which friends and family could gather. Established in May, 2007, the farmers market operates every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. year-round – From April through November at the Walker Road entrance to the Great Falls Village Centre, 778 Walker Road, and in the winter from December through March indoors at the Great Falls Grange, 9818 Georgetown Pike.