Many homes in Fayette and surrounding counties have beautiful blooming flowers — in pots, in beds and hanging from porches and sheds in baskets. In this dry time of the year, with most of the color coming from the ubiquitous corn and soybean fields, these bursts of color are refreshing. Of course, flowers in pots necessitate daily watering typically, and many types of flowers do require this level of care. But there are flowers that are important to consider for beauty, ease of summer growing and importance to our native pollinators.
If you are a flower appreciator, you will probably notice that the flowers that seem to be thriving now in dry areas, in addition to the lovely and pale pink “naked ladies” (Amaryllis belladonna), which are just passing their prime flowering, are the sunflowers, their cousins the tithtonia, coreopsis, marigolds, and other flowers in the yellow/gold/orange color spectrum. The zinnias, which tolerate dry conditions quite well, provide the color ranges of white, through all the reds and pinks, and purples. The echinacea have mostly finished blooming, but if deadheaded, will bloom again before the frost.
These summer flowers are critical in that they provide beauty and joy for the human eye, whether planted artistically or haphazardly or having come up from dropped seed. They are critical for another reason….they provide food for many, many insects and bugs, including bees, wasps, moths, butterflies and flies. Of course you know this, in at least an abstract way. But take a stroll through any garden. Look to see what bugs and insects you see on the flowers. The flowers hosting the greatest variety of insects are often the “herbs” such as hyssop and basil, with less conspicuous flowers.
I have counted as many as nine different insects (including the gorgeous Great Black Wasp [sphex pensylvanicus]) on the mountain mint at one time, in the middle of the day. And the marigold, a much maligned “old fashioned” flower was favored one morning by a huge Eastern Black Swallowtail, flitting for nearly half an hour from one marigold to another. The honey and mason bees, the hummingbird, the monarchs, the parasitic wasps, the oh-so-irritating sweatbee and all others have favorites and needs. Many of the popular, colorful flowers in home gardens seldom are visited by a moth or butterfly or bee. But other flowers (including the tithtonia, zinnia, milkweed, monardia and herbs) are favored by our many pollinators, and are incredibly important to us, therefore, as well.
Several Fayette County Farmers Market vendors are selling cut flowers or flowering plants. Check them out as well as the butter making activity, the special children’s activities, the many crafts, skin care products, locally grown produce, locally harvested honey, and baked goods galore.
Rose Avenue Community Center (RACC), the local non-profit outreach arm of Heritage Memorial Church, will join the market this week as our Community Guest. Founded in 2009 and located at 412 Rose Ave. in Washington C.H., RACC assists with the basic needs of families, to build community, support stability, and foster transformation. Services range from providing assistance with food and clothing to life skills training designed to provide a hand up to those seeking new life opportunities. Stop by the Community Guest tent to learn more about the amazing things this organization is doing to promote community and well-being in Fayette County.
The following list contains the names and products of the vendors that expect to set up this Saturday at the Fayette County Farmers Market in downtown Washington C.H. Other vendors may participate as well.
Chilcote Farm (Bruce & Marlene Chilcote): Honey, hickory nut cake, brown sugar sheet cake, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and peanut butter cookies.
Cozy Baby Blessings (Nancy Cutter): Handmade baby essentials including, crocheted baby blankets, hats and booties. Flannel receiving blankets, burp cloths, bibs and bunny ear teething rings, as well as pink ribbon heart wreaths and crocheted pot scrubbers.
Engedi (Beth Day, Alana Walters, Janet Bick): Assorted home baked goods (cinnamon rolls, bread, yeast rolls, cookies, pies). A special BUTTER making activity will be available for all – Make it and taste it!
Gerhardts (Kevin Gerhardt): cantaloupes, honeydew, crenshaw melons, watermelon and super sweet white corn.
Greens & Greenery (Katrina Bush): Beeswax hand creams and lip balms with essential oils (new scents available) and natural insect repellent. Seasonal produce grown with organic practices– garlic, yellow onions, leeks, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatillos, cherry tomatoes, carrots, German Butterball potatoes, sweet peppers. Dried catnip and sacred (holy) basil (tea). Buckeye candies, peanut butter fudge, pralines, mini-pecan pies.
Jones Farm Fresh Produce (Jon & Taylor Jones): Green beans, red potatoes, onions, tomatoes, peaches, apples, cantaloupe, cucumbers, squash, peppers, chicken- chicken patties, wings, chicken breast, cheddar chicken bratwurst and chorizo, ground chicken, pork- sausage, pork chops, maple links, sweet Italian and jalapeño links, beef- ground and patties, turkey- ground, drums and wings.
Kelsie’s K-9 Creations (Jennifer Anderson): Limited ingredient, purposeful cookies and treats for dogs.
King Farms (Jeff & Sandi King): sweet corn , melons , honey dew, watermelon, zucchini, yellow squash, Yukon Gold potatoes, vine ripe tomatoes, orange and red cherry tomatoes, and green beans.
Margaret’s Memories (Sharon Fulkerson): aprons, towels and wash cloths, dryer balls, sock monkey hat, baby hats, blankets, market bag, felted bags, cell phone carrier.
Persinger Produce & Cottage Foods (David Persinger and Julie Mosny): The Pie Lady will have local honey, assorted pies and other baked goods.
Wood Designed by DW (Debbie Welch): Handmade, unusual wood crafts. Hand made crocheted dishtowels, clothes, potholders, pocket books and baby booties. Special orders welcome. Cookies, fudge.
Your Other Mother’s Kitchen (Don & Sara Creamer): Artisan breads and bran muffin tops.
Bridge View Garden (Hunter & Lorelle Rohrer): Mums and seasonal produce including red raspberries, cherry tomatoes, green beans and red potatoes.
B.Y.E Gardens (Brian and Elaine Yoder): Tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, candy onions, bell peppers, green beans, melons, sweet corn. Baked goods, including cinnamon rolls, raspberry rolls, lemon creme rolls, butterscotch cookies, peanut butter cookies, brownies, strawberry bread, zucchini bread, banana bread, pumpkin bread, sugar free pies (cherry, Blackberry, apple), and other pies (cherry, blackberry, apple, pecan).
By Thy Hand (Mark and Lori Chrisman): Angel food cakes, specialty breads, pies, cookies, dip mixes, noodles.