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Thursday April 17, 2014
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continued

Because it's the smallest of the three communities and a relative newcomer to the market scene, Dexter has more trouble attracting farmers early in the season. There just aren't enough early-season producers to go around, so in late May, it relies more on crafts and specialty items to take up the slack, says market manager Brenda Tuscano.

The only real farmer with a large inventory of asparagus, rhubarb, flowers, herbs, and garden plants was Glenn Heim. And Heim was, to be frank, a bit of a grouch on the Saturday before Memorial Day. How's the farming business these days? "Sucks!" was his unembroidered reply. From a customer's point of view, it was a gloriously sunny, if chilly, morning, but Heim was pretty sore about the previous night's frost, which took out some of his asparagus. And market day is a long one: "we get up at two a.m. to load the trucks, and we're not finished until nine at night." While he's in Dexter, his wife, Mary, is at the Plymouth market, and son Kevin, mentioned above, in Chelsea. Glenn softens a bit at the mention of Kevin: "He's the only reason I stay in it. I'm ready to retire."

He softens again at the mention of rhubarb, agreeing that it's pretty rare. "It used to be like a weed. Now hardly anyone grows it." He does and is able to get $3 for a bunch of the tart red stalks.

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