Well now, who would have thunk it? Seems like the fun has just begun and here we are, down to the final scheduled outdoor market of the year. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were all longing for the first fresh zukes and cukes of the year? My, how things change! Don’t get me wrong, zukes and cukes are great, but hey, I’m ready for some of that winter squash, beets, roasted roots, and other hardier stuff. Got to get hardened up for what’s to come. If you’re ready for some of the same, come on down to the market and help us celebrate one more outdoor extravaganza. The weather’s supposed to be great and the company goes without saying.
You’ll find everything you need for those hardy cool weather dishes, and, I’ll bet, this week anyway, you’ll still be able to find a few late summer items. One more tomato fling? We’ll have you covered. There might even be a watermelon or two left over. Claire and I cut one open tonight that I picked up from Keeney Farm at the market last week and it was one of the best we’ve had all season. We’re expecting a great turnout from the vendors, and, for a few, it will be their last market of the season. So, think about planning a visit to say goodbye to some of the folks and friends whom you have seen here, week after week, the whole summer long, welcoming you with a friendly smile, a kind word, and great products.
Next week the bulk of the vendors, including all of the full timers and some of the part timers, will move inside the Parrish Hall for the last part of the year. I hope you will continue to support them in their effort and their commitment to supply you with the finest locally produced baked goods, fresh produce, meats, eggs, jams, jellies, handcrafted items and much more. This will be the perfect spot to pick up some nice gift items for the holidays. Not only will you be helping to support the local economy, you’ll also be purchasing a unique locally produced quality item for someone special. The final market of the year will just before Thanksgiving.
As for me, it’s not without a small bit of unexpected sadness that I write my last newsletter and get ready to manage the outdoor market one last time this year. When I was first approached by Lilace back in late winter and asked if I would accept the position of onsite market manager, I was just a wee a bit hesitant to say the least. It wasn’t exactly in my plan to commit to being available every Friday of the summer, PLUS, write a newsletter each week to boot. In my head the only response I could think of was, “What, you can’t be serious?” But, after a bit of thought and being one who begrudgingly likes new experiences and challenges, I kept my mouth shut, except to say “yes,” a few days later.
It turned out to be one of the best decisions of the year for me. I’ve volunteered at the market in the past and have always liked the market, but after this year, I’d have to say that I’ve fallen in love with the market and the way it works, but more importantly with the people, the vendors and the volunteers that make it all work. It’s been very rewarding, a heap of fun, and great learning experience for me. I encourage each and every one of you to get involved in community work at any level. Get to know your neighbors and make new friends while doing something nice for yourself in the process. For some simple but inspiring and powerful ways to build a strongly knit community, check out the link below to view and, perhaps purchase, some great posters about building community. http://olivebrown.net/tag/posters/
We are pleased to have Matt Noldy as our last musical guest of the season. He’s someone that you may have seen at the market this summer. Matt has a sweet voice, plays a mean guitar and covers some of the best songs around. Come down and send off the summer with a few great songs! Matt might even encourage you to sing along, if you’re so inspired.
The Market Café will not be in operation this week. They are in the planning stages of preparing for their fabulous annual International Dinner on Saturday, October 26. This dinner’s theme will be foods from Thailand; get your tickets early by calling Shannon at 570-662-6610. This is always a well-attended event; you’ll not want to miss it! Next week, and each week after, there will be limited food items available in the Parish Hall, coinciding with the opening of the indoor market.
For this week, Yorkholo will have your hunger and thirst pangs covered. They’ll be operating the hot cart one last time this season and will be serving up a great roast beef sandwich prepared from a top round supplied by Hillstone Farm. They’ll also be having a squash and cheddar soup and, for drinks, homebrewed birch beer and lemonade, all to satisfy your appetite. Stop at the cart and grab one last bite of summer from one of our fine sponsors.
Most or some of the produce vendors will have the following; beets, beans, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, onions, herbs, tomatoes, cabbage, chard, and celery. The list below highlights some of the items or features that certain vendors will have that might be a bit unique.
Gardiner’s Orchards will be back this week with all those apples and cider you’ve been looking for. You still plenty of time to make that applesauce or butter. It’s also a great time to ask about some of those keeper apples for later on.
Gaia Gardens will be here to help celebrate our last outdoors market and will have a variety of wonderfully handcrafted items, just in time for the season: bird feeders, hanging terrariums, garden themed barrettes and pins, and more. Think gifts here, the holidays are just around the corner.
Lees Bees and Between Two Rivers will both be making their last appearances of the season this week. Stop in and stock up. Honey and/or maple products are always a welcome gift during the holidays or just plain good to eat anytime of the year!
Bill Wilson of Mann Hill Farm will be making his last appearance at the market this season, as well. Stop in and see what he has at his booth. He’s another person that you might want to check with for bulk items, especially tomatoes.
Spring Meadows: Carrots and bundles of Kale. Andy still has some onions, beets, tomatoes, spinach, chard, green beans and garlic available in bulk for freezing, drying, whatever. Pasture soy free eggs, SNOW PEAS, and lots of spring greens are still available. If you’re thinking about planting garlic this fall, Andy’s the man to see.
Keeney Farm: They will bring eggplant, peppers, cabbage, and may even have a few WATERMELONS left. They’ll also have many types of WINTER SQUASH, PUMPKINS and GROUDS GALORE!! Think jack-o- lanterns and pumpkin pie!
Running Bear: Cliff will have concord grapes, kohlrabi, beets and other produce, LAMB in the form of ground, ½ racks, chops, roasts, and sausages, plus chicken, duck, rabbit, and turkey parts. Cliff may still be taking orders for HOLIDAY TURKEYS and whole or cut-up chickens for the freezer.
Herb Corner: Fresh cut herbs, arugla mix, grapes, Swiss chard, and green tomatoes, great for making green tomato relish. They will also have two sizes and many colors of fall mums available. Dress up you front porch with a few mums and plant them in the ground before the freeze. Diane can advise you on how it’s done, if need be.
Liz at Yorkshire Meadows will be back this week with all of her edible goodies, scones, cookies, jams, jellies, lemon and lime curd, and pickles. She’ll also have hand knitted woolen products, scarves, hats, gloves and, I believe she might still be taking orders for custom knitted sweaters. Liz will be writing the newsletter until the end of the season. If you have information to share, she’ll be the go-to person.
Hillstone wasn’t at the market last week but we hope to see them return the week with their quality beef and pork products.
Always Somethin’ will have garlic, garlic braids, goat milk soaps and lotions of many scents. Another great place to think GIFTS!
We will also have on hand, baked goods from Basically Bagels, great jewelry, handcrafted items, and other gift ideas from Gypsy Jingles, and Bernie from Inn to The Seasons with his assorted delights.
One last parting thought and a goal for us all to hopefully strive for:
Every one you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
I bid you adieu and hope to see you this week at the last outdoor market of the season!
Friday, 3-6:00 P.M.
St. James Episcopal Church, Rt. 6, One block east of Main, Mansfield, PA