INWOOD - The weather was a little iffy, but Tonia Lundy of Inwood decided to bring her two kids to the first Taylor's Farm Market Fall Harvest Festival on Saturday. "We've had a really good time," she said. "I'm glad we came out. We've had a good time doing all the activities."
And there were plenty of activities for kids: pumpkin bowling, pumpkin ring toss, pumpkin tic-tac-toe, pumpkin painting, moon bounce, face painting, photo backgrounds and kids could even drive a classic John Deere tractor.This was the Taylors' first attempt at a festival since taking over the Farmers Market on Pilgrim Street in Inwood. The market had been operated by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture for several years until the agency decided late last year to lease it to a private business.
The Taylors, Ryan and his father, Bob, re-opened the market around the end of May after winning the contract to operate the market.
"When you think of apples, you think of harvest," Ryan Taylor said Saturday. "We wanted to showcase what we have and get people to the market. And it's been a big turnout."
A very good crowd was shopping in the market's store, which was brimming with local and state farm products. They enjoyed the music of The Suspect Band and browsed the vendors set up across the street.
Six West Virginia wineries were displaying their products. There was a West Virginia wine tasting station.
Don Cutlip was showing products from Kirkwood Winery in Summersville.
"We attend quite a few shows," he said. "We do the Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival and the Wine and Arts Festival at Boydville. Our wine is received well in this part of the state."
Cutlip has been in the winery business for 30 years, but he sees wineries and vineyards catching on in West Virginia more.
Business has been good since the Taylors took over the market, Ryan Taylor said.
"We're learning as we go, and getting better at it," he said. "The biggest thing is to get the community to come see what we have to offer. It took a lot of work to organize this festival. We want to make it grow each year."
The Taylors' farm encompasses 340 acres of apples. They harvested about 130,000 bushels of apples this year.
"Most of our apples are sold for processing into products like apple sauce," Taylor said. "We save the better apples for the market."
The market is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 304-400-6123 or go to www.facebook.com/taylorsfarmmarket.
- Staff writer and photography John McVey can be reached at 304-263-3381, ext. 128.