120 Main St. West, New Prague, MN, 56071
Open 24/7 to members! Open to the public: Tues: 12 – 3pm, Thurs: 3 – 6pm & Sat: 9am – 12pm.
120 Main St. West, New Prague, MN, 56071
Open 24/7 to members! Open to the public: Tues: 12 – 3pm, Thurs: 3 – 6pm & Sat: 9am – 12pm.

Volunteer spotlight: Carrie DeValk



Tell me a little bit about yourself? Family, profession, life, anything.

I retired from New Prague High School a year and a half ago after teaching Language Arts for 33 years, and my husband, Ron, is  retired from Three Rivers Park District. We love to travel, so retirement gives us time to explore. We have been campground hosts on a little island paradise with no roads and electricity, Cayo Costa, in the Gulf of Mexico for the past two winters.  We just got back from canoeing the Boundary Waters, and we recently backpacked 200 miles on the John Muir Trail in California, so we enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. I’m planning a trek in Patagonia in the Andes Mountains with my cousin in February, so I have my training calendar on the fridge to keep me motivated! Our oldest son, Nick, has lived in Colorado for six years, so we’ve had many fun trips out West; our second son, Martin, and his wife just moved out there, too, so we’ll continue visiting that gorgeous state.  


Why did you become a volunteer at Farmhouse Market?

We lived on a hobby farm for 25 years and raised our own food, so we’re invested in the importance of local and natural food. When Kendra told me about her idea for her market, I begged her to let me help! Her innovative idea of allowing members to shop on their own and sourcing local farmers is so perfect for New Prague!


What do you do for Farmhouse Market?

I help during open hours, and I co-taught an apron sewing class with volunteers Linnea Hautmann and Marge Sticha. I couldn’t have written a better retirement volunteer gig than chatting with shoppers and bouncing ideas around with Kendra. We’re looking forward to our community dinner in August. Members, keep your ears open for this fun event!


What’s been the most rewarding thing about volunteering so far?

Learning about starting a new business and realizing how important marketing is to the success of a start-up has been fascinating. Kendra is an impressive entrepreneur. Meeting the young local farmers gives me hope for the future of our community. The young generation has progressive ideas and the confidence and the persistence to coax those concepts to their fruition.


What are your favorite products at Farmhouse Market?

I love having fresh eggs and milk whenever I need them. Sugar Mama Bakery bread is delicious, and Bisek’s whipped cinnamon honey on her toast is a treat! The Salad Girl dressings are very versatile and tasty. Everyone is surprised at the variety of products at Farmhouse Market; I often buy all the ingredients for my meals for the day. I feel so European!


What do you think Farmhouse Market should look like/be like in 10 years?

I can see the concept spreading, franchising. Our little market will never lose its small-town charm, though.