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Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015

Market offers weekend outing

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monta Gazvoda, right, discusses her selection of jams, jellies, herbs and herb vinegars with a group of customers.
Through three weeks of the season for the Greencastle farmers' market, it is evident that the efforts of the Greencastle Sustainability Committee during the winter and spring are paying off. The market, while small, offers a Saturday morning outing for residents and more than simply homegrown produce and plants.

On Saturday, for example, there was a Taoist Tai Chi demonstration by a group of local residents. The group, led by Marthe Chandler, put their art on display and tried to promote its benefits for health, fitness, balance and stamina.

Joanne Haymaker, who has been practicing Tai Chi for several years, explained that even when she is feeling tired or sore, she finishes a session and feels refreshed.

"It's continuing work," she said. "Nothing we do hurts."

The group meets on Mondays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. at First Christian Church in Greencastle. They have beginner sessions twice a year, with the next one slated for Sept. 10.

Market patrons were also treated to the sounds of guitar and singing from Doug Cox and Ron Dye, who performed from 10 a.m. to noon. Coming weeks will feature more folk, rock and classical music from local acts.

But of course, the real point of any farmer's market is locally produced products. The market has no shortage. Although it's still a bit early in the year for fruits and vegetables, plants were available from a number of vendors.

"I've done really well this year. It's been a good year with all the water," said Sue Baxter, who was selling perennials and hopes to have vegetables available later in the season.

Constance Ferry was also selling a variety of plants at the market; her booth will also be offering fresh cut herbs, organic vegetables and organic vinegars. A veteran of the market when it was in Robe Ann Park, Ferry is hoping for the continued growth of the downtown market.

"It's a good market. It's great to have the music," Ferry said. "We're hoping to have produce here soon."

Directly from the ground goods weren't the only things available, though. Monta Gazvoda had jams, jellies, herbs and herb vinegars available Saturday. She also had on display the two ribbons her rhubarb marmalade has won at the Indiana State Fair.

She eventually plans to offer salsas, pickles and relishes.

Gazvoda said the first two weeks of this year's market had been her best in more than two years.

"It's been wonderful this year. I'm happy with what they've done with organization and advertising," Gazvoda said.

Clifford Feed and Straight From the Farm Market has been nearly selling out of its baked goods every week so far, while also offering natural soaps and lotions among other natural products.

"Business is wonderful," Yvonne Clifford said.

Chief's was also on hand with a booth of its own. Anyone who forgot to have breakfast before departing home had the option of getting a meal from the Greencastle restaurant.

Locally produced clothing is also available at the market. Besides plants and produce, Lori Manning also sells tie-dyed clothes. Her colorful booth was busy this week.

"It's going well," Manning said. "It's a good year for us. We are still looking for more vendors."

Elizabeth and Mary VanHook were hard at work selling their products and spinning their wool into new pieces. Elizabeth had a sign in front of the booth saying she is a DePauw senior working for book money. She lost her summer job and is trying to earn school money at her craft.

"For now, this is what I'm doing," she said. "We'll see what happens."

Like so many of the vendors, the Zen Sheep Farm is a bit of a Renaissance booth. While nominally specializing in certified organic lamb, they also sell pillows stuffed with organic wool, organic tarragon and organic wool yarn.

The products all come from the farm of Nancy and Tom Zennie in Cloverdale. Tom promoted what is known in organic farming as the audit trail. Any piece of lamb purchased from the Zennies has a number on it that indicates exactly what lamb it came from.

"We know exactly where that meat came from," Tom said. "You can trace the number all the way back to where it came from.

"The integrity of organic food is real," he added.

Much the same is the integrity of the entire Greencastle farmers' market. All of the products available must be home grown, home sewn or home made and come from within 100 miles of the city.

The Greencastle farmers' market is open from 8 a.m. to noon each Saturday through October on the north side of the courthouse square.

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