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Farmers market starts in Hillsboro

Staff writer

It was hot in the Emprise Bank courtyard Thursday, but vendors at the Hillsboro Farmers Market seventh season opening had a good evening selling their wares and visiting with customers.

“People are still trying to find us in our new location,” Hillsboro Famers Market organizer Joni Calam said. “But the vendors did very well and were pleased with their outcome.”

Kathy Jantz, a longtime vendor from Durham, brought her homemade pies and baked goods, and sold almost completely out by evening’s end.

“Strawberry-rhubarb has always been my best seller,” Jantz said. “But the apricot-pineapple pies are becoming a real favorite now too.”

Jantz, assisted by her daughters Charlene Wedel and RuthAnn Wells, also offered cherry, apple, and peach pie varieties. She said she learned to make pies from her mother, often coming up with interesting fruit combinations to finish out a batch of mix.

“One day we had a little bit of apricot filling left and needed something to fill it out,” she said. “We added pineapple and now that combination has become a favorite in our family and for our customers.”

She said it took her and her daughters about three hours the day before to prepare for farmers market weekly sales.

Farmers market participation is also a family affair for Betsy Walker of Hillsboro. She and several of her children brought in several types of small trees and container gardens to sell Thursday to the public.

“It was a bit of a skimpy start for me,” Walker said. “I do a lot with herbs and salad container gardens, so hopefully business will pick up and more people will find us as time goes on.”

Calam said this was to be a celebratory season as it is the seventh year for the existence of the Hillsboro Farmers Market.

“We are not charging any vendor fees this year,” she said. “At the end of the year we will have a vendor-sponsored cookout to raise money to cover our expenses. If any new vendors want to join us they are welcome to contact me at (620) 947-0270.”

Calam said six vendors participated Thursday, selling a variety of goods from pies, plants, and frilly tutus, to beets, lettuce, and other early greens.

“I have heard some people were able to put in very early gardens this year,” she said. “There will be more greens, maybe some snow peas, and other produce available very soon.”

Calam said the farmers market venue at the Emprise Bank courtyard was considered a temporary move for the time being, as several vendors hoped to get back to the Schaeffler House Museum grounds as summer heats up.

“We will be at the courtyard until further notice, however,” she said.

Last modified May 10, 2012

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