Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sentinel column May 30

Our customers are so good at solving problems. You may remember that last week’s column included a request for a portable playpen or stroller for baby Lance Troyer to use while his parents sold at the market. Before market even opened last Friday, Katey Jordan Booher called to say she was bringing a playpen. On Tuesday, Marilyn Clark dropped by with a stroller. Both will be kept at the market for Lance and any other vendor infants to use.

The stroller does bring up another market challenge though. Lance will just be using it for a chair, which is lucky because our lovely new dust-free gravel is very unsuitable for strollers and wheelchairs. We need to find a way to make a smoother path. If you have a suggestion or lead on how we can do that, please give me a call at 483-8135 or drop by the information table at the market. It’s a serious problem that we need to solve quickly.

We’re at that fun time in the market when we have new vendors and new products every week. John Pate will be back at the market for the first time today (no, he’s not bringing peaches. Those should be coming in towards the end of June). To find out what he is bringing, go to our blog at It has a new feature called “Inside News”. That’s where you can get the inside scoop on items coming to the market in quantities are too limited to publicize.

Ervin and Irene Eicher will be at the market soon. Marilyn Thornberry and I visited these new growers on Wednesday and believe they’re going to be a great addition. They garden on about 5 acres north of Avilla and they’ve put in a wide variety of veggies that are looking great. The Eichers hope to bring some strawberries and asparagus along with some other spring produce this week. Irene also raises African violets.

Panhia Vang from Jasper had some gorgeous lettuce at market on Tuesday. One customer commented as her order was bagged up that she could use it for a bouquet. Other new produce on Tuesday included new potatoes, kohlrabi, edible pod peas, Chinese cabbage, and broccoli. Hector Troyer had some lovely slicing onions. We are buying several bundles to use on the hamburgers at Tuesday’s Cooking for a Cause.

The Urban Gardeners had a tableful of beautiful rose bouquets on Friday. I hope to buy some today to put on the graves of two dear friends, Margaret and Lewis Triemer. Roses were Margaret’s favorite flowers. Tim Green has beautiful planters to grace your home or the grave of a loved one.

Lunch today is B-b-q beef sandwich, 4 bean salad, roasted potatoes, brownie and drink for $6. Ka Yang will serve sandwiches, noodle salad and egg rolls. The Gospel Strings will make their season debut at the market today. Donna Crow plays mountain dulcimer, Treva Dawson, hammered dulcimer and Mary Bohnstedt, guitar in this trio of friends from First Baptist Church.
We’re late again with the Kids Community Garden but it has just been too wet to prepare. Steve Fredrickson of Fredrickson Farm took time out of his busy strawberry season to till it up last week during a brief respite in the rain.

The first planting day for the garden is this Thursday at 3:15 p.m. It is located on school property on Aylor Street just west of Madge James kindergarten. Any child, in-coming 5th graders and older, is welcome to participate. For more information, call the garden supervisor, Rochelle DeLucia, at 629-7360.

If you’re an adult and would like a garden patch, give me a call. I’ve been asked to find a gardener for a private garden space near the high school. The owner will even supply water for an occasional basket of veggies.

Next Tuesday, Cooking for a Cause benefits Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Rob Pommert will play and sing for us. Be sure and spread the word about our Saturday markets, which begin June 7. The Saturday markets will be under the pavilions from 9 a.m. to noon every week in June and July. If they go well, we may even continue them later into the year.