HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Every Saturday, there is something to look forward to in Harrisonburg. It's the farmers market!
Ryan's Fruit Market is one of the many vendors that arrives at the farmers market bright and early every Saturday morning. To prepare for this biweekly event, Patrick Ryan picks more than 70,000 apples per day.
"It takes me about a whole day to get ready," said Ryan.
Working on the farm is nothing new to the Ryan family. In fact, this family farm has has been running since the Revolutionary War.
"My granddad eight generations ago was fighting in the Revolutionary War. He came through the Shenandoah Valley on Route 11 and saw this beautiful area. He decided that if he made it through the war, he was going to come back and settle a farm," said Ryan.
He made good on that promise, and after eight generations, it is still in the family hands.
"A lot of our buyers are repeat buyers. They have been coming to us for years. They bring their friends and family from out of state when people come in. It has just become a big community," said Ryan.
The family has been setting up weekly stands at the farmers market for more than 60 years. They said they have been selling at the farmers market back before it was even called a market.
"They were selling beside the old police station, right beside the old pickup trucks," said Ryan.
They said they love it because it has expanded their business in a lot of ways.
"Most of the people who buy from me are all local people who live in Harrisonburg. All of the money you [spend] goes back into the community," said Ryan.
Rain or shine, Ryan is out picking produce for his loyal customers.
"I love it! I like this kind of life. I mean, it is a lot more work than most people do at their job, but I really enjoy it. I want to do this the rest of my life," said Ryan.
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