New season, new treatsCrafts, baked goods replace fruits and veggies at winter farmers market
BY BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Gone are the fruits, vegetables and produce. Replacing the summer goodies are crafts and more baked goods.
Mt. Pleasant’s Farmers Market has moved indoors for an abbreviated winter schedule. And although the menus might be altered, the enthusiasm remains at a high pitch.
“One thing we have is a lot of chocolate, you can’t do that in the summer because it would melt,” noted Mary Garmoe, of Mt. Pleasant, the winter market manager.
“The winter market has a lot of baked goods and hand-made goods and crafts that you can’t buy elsewhere. Everything is hand-made. They are perfect for stocking or secret Santa gifts,” she continued. “In the summer, people are looking for fruits and vegetables, or things they can’t get in the winter.”
Garmoe said this year’s winter market features “a lot of new vendors.”
“We had some vendors who couldn’t be here, but we usually have 20-25 vendors at the winter market.”
She also said that this year’s market features a gourmet hot cocoa bar where visitors can purchase cocoa and add a choice of six toppings and whipped cream. She did advise people to come early before things are picked over. “In the winter time, people like to come early and get their running out of the way in the morning.”
Another difference between the two markets is the summer version is conducted on both Wednesday and Saturday while the winter market is just on Saturdays.
Susie Feuer, of Mt. Pleasant, said she did buy some tomatoes last week. “They were delicious and inexpensive. I try to come to both the winter and summer because I want to support them.”
A first-time visitor was Donna Kruse, of Olds, who said she was impressed, mentioning that there was a good variety of decently-priced items.
Linda Renken, of Lockridge, was a first-time vendor, sporting a table of leather and unique jewelry. She said she was going to display at the summer market during Old Threshers but was ill. Renken remarked that she had made a couple of sales and was pleased with the attendance.
Another first-time vendor was Don Reidner, of Donnellson. Reidner said he has had his jams, jellies and honey at similar events around Ft. Madison but decided to venture a little more north. “I came for the opportunity for a winter market,” he said.
An out-of-state supplier was Sarah Burkholder, of Wayland, Mo. Burkholder brought baked goods, fried pies, noodles, fudge and leather supplies. She was happy. “The business has been great, we have all we can do.”
Vicki Messer, of Mt. Pleasant, the summer market manager, said people come to the winter market “looking for holiday baked goods and crafts.” She said the attendance at the winter market rivals that of the summer event. “Business has been good today. People are looking for presents and holiday goods. They are also looking for holiday baked goods.”
Over in the corner, Violet Mills was helping out at the Relay for Life table. Mills said the organization was selling gift baskets, or as she put it — “fighting cancer one gift basket at a time.”
The winter farmers market began Nov. 19 and runs through Dec. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon at the former McWhirter Motors building on West Washington Street.