News Sartell St. Joseph — 07 August 2014
Market vendor grows everything from A-Z

by Dennis Dalman

news@thenewsleaders.com

Standing by his fresh mounds of colorful produce, Todd Beumer enjoys exchanging pleasantries with his customers at farmers’ markets.

“I want to thank my customers,” he said. “With them, there would be no farmers’ markets.”

Last Monday, during National Farmers’ Market Week (Aug. 3-9), Beumer was selling his products at Market Monday, the farmers’ market on the ground of Sartell City Hall. That market is open from 3-6:30 p.m. every Monday.

Beumer and his wife, Cherie, own and operate Collegeville Orchards, west of St. Joseph, near St. John’s University.

Beumer is a friendly regular at Market Monday in Sartell. He also sells his foods at the farmers’ markets at St. Joseph and St. Cloud State University. In addition, from late August through October, there is a sales store open at Collegeville Orchards, a 14-acre spread where the Beumers grow everything from apples (24 varieties) to zucchini, and just about everything in between: carrots, cucumbers, gourds, green beans, kohlrabi, lettuce, potatoes, peppers, pumpkins (lots and lots of pumpkins), and more – not to mention grapes, strawberries and raspberries. Beumers’ crops are chemical-free, though not officially certified as “organic.”

One exotic item Beumer sells is peacock feathers. He currently has one male peacock at his farm, and his parents, who live near Rockville, have 15.

The Beumers also produce maple syrup for sale, as well as honey produced by the bees from the Beumers’ five hives. The couple has two children – Alex, 10; Maya, 5 – who help out in any way they can.

Not surprisingly, the Beumers – far more than city-slicker complainers – always have one eye on the weather.

“That’s always our biggest hurdle,” he said. “The weather.”

Besides their food-raising, the Beumers have other jobs. Todd is a landscaper and does some property management. Cherie is a speech pathologist at Melrose Elementary School.

Collegeville Orchards is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. It opens this year Aug. 31, the day before Labor Day, and it closes the day after Halloween.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Todd Beumer of Collegeville Orchards near St. John’s University holds one of the bottles of his own honey at the Market Monday, the farmers’ market in Sartell. Beumer is one of many vendors who sells fresh, home-produced products at the market, now in its fourth year.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Vendor Todd Beumer and Amy Braig-Lindstrom enjoy a chat Aug. 3 at Market Monday, the Sartell farmers’ market. Braig-Lindstrom is the one who started the market four years ago. She has since become a member of the Sartell City Council.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Browsers and shoppers gather at Market Monday Aug. 4 on the grounds of Sartell City Hall.

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Dennis Dalman
Dennis Dalman

editor@thenewsleaders.com Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.

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