Farmers attend to weather. It is important to their livelihoods and they know they must factor “bad” weather years into what, hopefully, is a number of good years.
Farm market customers have commented on the lack of produce in May, and certainly the freezing temperatures that continued into April followed by an excess of rain delayed the planting of annual vegetable crops. The most recent heavy rains and hail that visited some communities on May 21 did extensive damage to some vegetable crops. This type of extreme and sudden weather impacts your local farmer, so if you see produce that looks a bit off or damaged, ask about it. Instead of avoiding the vendor, ask if the damage will impact the product and whether it needs to be eaten within some shorter time frame.
Farmers are loath to sell anything less than beautiful produce, but blemishes are a natural part of growing good, tasty, healthy local fruits and vegetables. And some vendors “make lemonade,” so to speak, by turning less than perfect fruit into jams, pies and other fruit desserts. Our gain, but the loss is calculated somewhere along the line.
You could talk to five different vendors, all living and growing in Fayette County, and find at least three different weather experiences during the same week; that is how odd and unpredictable our weather can be. So strike up a conversation and get to know a bit more about the experiences and livelihoods of the folks that bring you food. And stop by with your child at the Engedi vendor booth; each week a free children’s activity is available.
The Fayette County Farmers’ Market is open Saturday morning from 8:30 to noon and is located in the municipal parking lot on the corner of South Main and East East streets. SNAP EBT food benefit cards, Senior Farm Market coupons and credit/debit cards are accepted. Those using the SNAP EBT card for produce receive matching dollar “Produce Perks” tokens ($1 for $1) for additional fruits and vegetables. So,”buy one, get one” for fruit and vegetables, up to $20 EVERY market day.
All first responders (police, EMTs and firefighters), teachers, medical providers and Farm Bureau members may pick up $5 coupons during the first two market weeks of each month. These coupons may be used to make farm market purchases anytime during the season.
The following list contains the names and products of the vendors that expect to set up for the Saturday Market. Other vendors may participate as well.
Engedi (Beth Day, Alana Walters, Janet Bick): Assorted home baked goods (cinnamon rolls, bread, yeast rolls, cookies, pies, brownies, cobblers, whoopie pies, small specialty bread) and a special children’s activity.
Forgotten Way Farms (Cathy Ludi): Homemade soaps, therapeutic grade essential oils, wooden crafts, bath salts, foot soaks, balms.
Greens & Greenery (Katrina Bush): Vegetable, herb and fruiting plants—basil, cucumbers, pumpkin, squash & zucchini, a few tomatoes and peppers, and rhubarb, raspberry, horseradish. Native flowering shrubs (elderberry, ninebark, choke cherry); ornamental and flowering plants (caster bean, ferns, cleome, red cypress vine, scarlet runner and hyacinth bean, milkweed). Fresh lettuce, kale, snow peas and rhubarb.
Jones Farm Fresh Produce (Jon & Taylor Jones): Strawberries, broccoli, garlic scapes, sausage patties, sweet Italian brats, pork chops, ground pork, bulk sausage, chicken patties, 1/4# and 1/3# hamburger patties, ground hamburger and brown eggs.
Persinger Cottage Foods (David Persinger and Julie Mosny): The Jam Man will have jams, jellies, peach butter, and Texas sheet cakes.
Reubens and More (Denise Rhodes): The food truck will offer omelets, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and sides. Coffee, water, hot chocolate and soda available.
Wood Designed by DW (Debbie Welch): Wood crafts: decorative bird houses, wooden totes, patriotic & wooden Ohio signs, pigs, cows, chickens. Hand made crocheted dishtowels, clothes, potholders, pocket books and baby booties. Special orders welcome.
Your Other Mother’s Kitchen (Don & Sara Creamer): Artisan breads, bran muffin tops, brown sugar shortcakes (for the Jones’ strawberries) and fresh asparagus.
B.Y.E. Gardens (Brian and Elaine Yoder): Cinnamon rolls, raspberry rolls, lemon cream rolls, strawberry bread, strawberry rhubarb pie, peanut butter cookies.
By Thy Hand (Mark and Lori Chrisman): Angel food cakes, specialty breads, pies, cookies, dip mixes.
Chilcote Farm (Bruce & Marlene Chilcote): Honey, cookies, lemon loaf, butter pecan cake, sheet cake, cinnamon coffee cake, rhubarb pie and caramels.
Katrina Bush is a vendor with the Fayette County Farmers’ Market.