‘Passing it on’ at the New Bloomfield Farmers Market

Jim Cassels shows his granddaughter Lindsey, 15, the tomatoes from his garden. His granddaughter helps him maintain his garden and sells produce with him at the New Bloomfield Farmers Market each Saturday.

Jim Cassels shows his granddaughter Lindsey, 15, the tomatoes from his garden. His granddaughter helps him maintain his garden and sells produce with him at the New Bloomfield Farmers Market each Saturday. Megan Favignano

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Lana Lucas talks to customers at the New Bloomfield Area Civic Association’s Farmers Market, across from the New Bloomfield Elementary School, on Saturday morning. It was the first day Lucas has sold at the market — her son usually sells, but couldn’t make it that day. He has 40 tomato plants. Lucas said she enjoyed spending her Saturday morning at the market.

Jim Cassels said he has always grown a garden. However, since his retirement in January, Cassels has added more produce to his garden. He sells the produce at the New Bloomfield Area Civic Association’s Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. His grandmother showed him how to grow food when he was a child.

“My grandmother always had a garden. Back then, I didn’t like getting in the garden, but she taught me a lot,” Cassels said.

Just as his grandmother taught him, Cassels teaches his grandchildren today. He said his granddaughter Lindsey Cassels, 15, helps him in his garden often. She said she enjoys the process.

“I like to watch it grow,” Lindsey Cassels said. “It’s interesting to see how much you can grow with just soil and water.”

Lindsey Cassels attends the market with her grandfather to help him sell the food they grow.

Wil Lawrence has sold jars of jams, butters, pickles and other items at the market for five years. He said he didn’t start making and canning the jams with the intention of selling them; Lawrence started because he found comfort in seeing his cupboard full of food that he made.

“I didn’t do this to sell. I did this for me,” Lawrence said. “I combine what I can combine.”

Lawrence combines various fruits to make his jams and butters. One of his most popular jams is his strawberry-banana jam. He said he has started to make cheese, too. Lawrence said knowing how to make his own food is important to him.

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Nancy West sells handmade jewelry at the Farmers Market. She has made jewelry for about 20 years. West used to have a store in Fulton called “The Classic Touch.” She sold the store in 2001, but continues to make and sell jewelry because she enjoys it.

Growing his own food is important to Jim Cassels, as well. He wants to pass on what he knows to his grandchildren.

“I’ve been teaching them since they were little. Just how my grandmother taught me. I’m passing it on,” Jim Cassels said.

Jim Cassels passes on his knowledge and food at the market each week. He sells sweet corn, tomatoes and other vegetables.

The market is open from 7:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturdays and is located across from the New Bloomfield Elementary School on Missouri Route J.

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