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Roberts grows farm market from early days as roadside stand

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 May 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Maggie Roberts is pictured with a hanging basket and other flowers in a greenhouse that opened last year at Roberts Farm Market on Maple Ridge Road.

MEDINA It was about 40 years ago when Joan and Ginny Roberts started a roadside stand on Maple Ridge Road. Like a lot of farm families, they wanted to sell some produce directly to consumers.

The family had success with the stand, so much that they started a farm market down the road. Roberts Farm Market has been growing steadily since then. Last year Roberts added a new greenhouse. Three years ago they remodeled the market and expanded its apple cider operation.

The family has also started an annual benefit for the Alzheimer’s Association. It sold hot dogs, chips and soda last weekend, with basket raffles that generated $1,500 for the Alzheimer’s Association. That topped the $1,380 raised in 2014 for the debut benefit.

Maggie Roberts and her husband Gary run the market and have pushed the recent renovations. Mr. Roberts makes the cider for the Roberts farm market and several other farms in the region.

Mrs. Roberts manages the growing garden center. They have four full-time and one part-time employee at the site, which is open from April 1 to Dec. 23, as well as on Tuesdays during the winter for the apple cider customers.

The new greenhouse, at 64 by 96 feet, has ventilation in both sides and vents in the roof peaks. It has an irrigation system that feeds the plants water and fertilizer.

“That has been marvelous,” said Mrs. Roberts. “Before it would take forever to water them by hand.”

The greenhouse also has a heater that is often turned on at night. The greenhouse, with all of its features, has kept the 500 hanging baskets and other flowers looking lush.

The market is next to a U-Pick orchard and those fruit trees were starting to bloom last week.

Mrs. Roberts said the family appreciates the community’s support, since the early days of the roadside stand to the more recent renovations and expansion.