Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sentinel Column 5-9-08

We’ve had some beautiful plants at the market since opening. Whether you want plants for the garden or for landscaping, you should have plenty of choices. We have an especially good selection of herbs right now and they make a lovely garden whether in beds or pots. They’re pretty, they smell good and they liven up a meal.

Perhaps it was the catnip Tim Green sells that attracted our two feline visitors last week. Whatever the attraction, they were particularly fond of laying among the plants. We’re really not supposed to have animals loose at the market. It’s not exactly according to health department rules. So I spent much of the day gathering them up and taking them to the neighboring houses from which we assumed they had come. At some point I must have mentioned that I might call animal control and as the market closed I had three different vendors looking for the animals. They had heard through the grapevine that I sending the cats to the pound and these vendors were willing to adopt them on the spot. It just goes to show what good-hearted people I work with. The cats, however, had already moved on to greener pastures and were nowhere to be found.

We have a big weekend at the market with our usual Friday market and then on Saturday, we’ll be open again from 9 to noon under the market pavilions. It’s our day-before-Mother’s-Day market and there will be lots of gift ideas for Mom. It’s also our annual Let’s Plant a Garden Day when each child and youth(through college) receives a free tomato plant, with some fertilizer and instructions. Last year little Ava Smith, of Reddings Mill Bakery, received a tomato plant that she grew into a prize winner at the TomatoFest. Children’s Haven is running a free hand-painting booth.

The Fabulous BRDs will play bluegrass throughout the morning. If you’re a bluegrass fan you probably know the members: Corky Dow of Carthage, Gary Harrel and Joe Johnson who are both members of Johnson Family Bluegrass as well as other groups, and Gary Shipley who has played with the Sullivan Family.
There will be presentations by the high school speech and drama club. They have a whole passle of kids who qualified for nationals in June. They’ll have a bake sale at the market on Saturday to help with the expenses of traveling to Nevada for the competition.
The Palmers with Fairhaven Gardens are holding a drawing on both Friday and Saturday for one of their lovely wood crafted planters.
So come to the market on Saturday morning, especially if you work during our regular hours and can’t make it on Tuesday or Friday. It’s our trial run for June and July when we plan to be open every Saturday morning.

But if Friday works better for you, come on down today. We’ll be open from 11 to 3. Lunch starts at 11 with all-you-can-eat chili, plus corn chips or crackers, fruit fluff and drink for $6. The Plainsfolks are playing Irish music.
We had exciting news at the market last week. We’ve become a tax-exempt 501c3 organization. That may seem ho hum to you, but it means that the market can now accept tax-deductible donations and grants. Previously we had to work through partners like the Historical Society and Extension Service in applying for grants or accepting donations. The designation is made all the sweeter by the fact that we had been told by many, including national market experts, that the IRS no longer gives 501c3 to markets, treating them like trade organizations instead. Our application was carefully structured and supported by letters from many, including the city, the school district, the extension service and others. And it sailed through in less than two months with no questions or rewrites. How sweet it is