Farmers Market hopes to bounce back from nasty weather


By Katrina Bush - Fayette Co. Farmers Market Vendor



Whoa! Last week’s Fayette County Farmers Market was one of the worst Saturdays, weather-wise, of not only the year, but recent memory.

We experienced a severe storm that snuck up on us right after all the vendors were in place and mostly set up. Customers had just started to arrive; we knew it might rain, but hope held sway. Cloudy skies, okay temperatures, and then a few sprinkles. But within minutes, the sprinkles became rain, which became drenching downpour, which became a driving wind with rain. We’d been instructed to shelter in our vehicles in the case of lightning. And as we tried to prepare for the deluge, everyone was overwhelmed. Products not meant to be wet, were soaked. Items were blown off the tables. Vendors held onto their tents, already weighted, to keep them from blowing over and away, and causing further damage.

Everyone was drenched to the bone, as they worked to save their wares, save tents, minimize damage, and help others. The thunder and lightning started, close by and then right over head. What an intense and amazing storm, with everyone hunkering down the best they could during the, probably, 20 minutes of significant storm activity.

With the passage of that first, unexpected wave, some vendors finished packing up; their materials just could not tolerate the level of “wet” we experienced. And other waves of bad weather were possible; we were now closely watching weather radar, and it seemed possible that the next wave might be relatively mild (HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL!)

Those with vegetables and fruit (including our new apple and pumpkin vendors) had products that can easily handle rain; produce doesn’t last picked until the next week typically, so they needed to hold out. Others had large amounts of product, prepared in advance for the expectation of the huge LABOR DAY WEEKEND market. Ultimately, another wave of heavy rain moved in and most vendors left. A number of tents were heavily damaged and there is no way of knowing the damage done to products.

It was a nerve-wracking morning, but the resilience, generosity, good spirits and kindness of this community were on full display and truly appreciated. One of the vendors called home to request her daughter bring all the towels from the closet….many used these to dry off and get warm. Hugs were offered. Some stepped up to help clean up messes, including the multiple broken tent frames, or assist vendors load up for early departure. A “Lorre Black Umbrella” was offered for the visiting musicians (unable to set up or play, sadly) to get across the street. Customers were there to help as well, and were generous with their purchases, no doubt recognizing the poor sales and product loss during this Saturday market.

At this time of writing, more rain is expected this coming Saturday. It is hard to know what to expect, so in the meantime, we plan for this next Saturday. The children of the market can participate in a scavenger hunt and win a game of marbles after successfully completing the hunt. Come see Mrs. Debra to get you started at the children’s table in the info booth.

The book bike will be at the market this Saturday, from approximately 8:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m., with promotional materials for the upcoming Scarecrow Book Sale, Sept. 12-17.

The Market is open Saturday morning from 8:30 to 12 noon. It is located in the municipal parking lot on the corner of South Main and East East streets in Washington C.H. SNAP EBT food benefit cards and credit/debit cards are accepted. Those using the SNAP EBT card for food purchases receive matching dollar “Produce Perks” tokens ($1 for $1) good only for fruits, vegetables, and food producing plants. So,”buy one, get one” for up to $25 every market day. Five dollar coupons will be available again for Fayette County Farm Bureau members at each Saturday market; these can be spent at both the Wednesday and Saturday markets.

The following list contains the names and products of the vendors that expect to set up this Saturday. Other vendors may participate as well.

Engeti (Alana Walters): Baked goods including bread, cinnamon rolls, rolls, cakes, pies, cookies.

Jim’s Premium Ground Beef (Jim Hobbs): Premium ground beef in assorted packages (patties, bulk tubes).

Julie G’s Cookies (Julie Greenslade): Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, ginger, snickerdoodle, peanut butter, peanut butter jumbos, sugar, pineapple, peanut butter fudge, lemon bars and salted caramel butter bars.

Little Farmstead Flowers (Eicher family): Seasonal fresh cut flowers by the stem or bouquet.

Lorre Black Umbrellas (Lorre Black): Umbrellas to match your personality, your friends’ and family’s personalities, too. With every umbrella you purchase, you help your community by helping LBU build our very own Umbrella Alley in WCHO.

Ohio Artisan Beef & 1 Body Life Skincare (W.J. & Lanita Fannin): individual cuts, ground beef & beef patty bundles, griller’s boxes and other variety boxes & 1/4, 1/2 and whole beef reservations. Clean, natural, all plant-based, fresh, small batched skincare products.

Persinger Produce and Cottage Foods, The Jam Man (David Persinger): GINGER PEAR PRESERVES and PEACH FLAMINGO. Apple butter, JAMS: “Currant Affair” (a jam of black currants with a smattering of red currants), strawberry, strawberry-rhubarb, pineapple, pineapple Habanero, peach, peach Habanero, blueberry, cherry, black raspberry, blackberry, seedless blackberry, red raspberry, red raspberry jalapeno, and strawberry jalapeno. JELLIES: hot pepper jelly. No added sugar jams: triple berry, plum, blueberry, seedless blackberry. Chocolate Texas sheet cakes with or without pecans and white Texas sheet cake.

Rural Beans Roastery LLC (Kameron Rinehart): Assorted freshly roasted coffee — beans and ground.

Slate Hill Farm & Orchard(Greg, Carmen, & Joe Hood): Apples. Varieties available now include: Gala, Fuji, and Crimson Crisp. Coming soon (Mid/lateSept) Enterprise.

South Plymouth Pumpkins (Jared Persinger): Pumpkins.

Wood Designs by DW (Debbie Welch): One of a kind handcrafted wood items— birdhouses, signs, tables, gnomes. Crocheted items including kitchen towels, pot scrubs, pot holders, baby booties, and afghans. Will take custom and special orders.

Your Other Mother’s Kitchen (Don & Sara Creamer): Baked goods including artisan breads and muffins. Sewing crafts.

Barbara’s Embellished Stretchy Bookmarks (Barbara Black): Bookmarks in dozens of different handmade designs dealing with sports, nature, hobbies, OSU, beach, and more.

Bridge View Garden (Hunter & Lorelle Rohrer): Seasonal produce including sweet potatoes, red raspberries, cherry tomatoes, onions, peppers, green beans and winter squash. Homemade breads (yeast, savory and sweet) and rolls. Fall mums.

Cozy Baby Blessings (Nancy Cutter): Fall silk flower arrangements, Wax Melts, beaded pens and key chains. Baby essentials including, crocheted blankets and hats, flannel receiving blankets, burp cloths, crinkle toys, silicone tableware, teethers and pacifier clips.

DSC Produce Farm (Darren Cox): Salsas (including mango, pineapple, black bean and corn) and dressings Sampling bacon ranch dressing.

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By Katrina Bush

Fayette Co. Farmers Market Vendor