Joy Kromer is a Farmers Market board member. Her husband Bill is the president.
1. Joy, since many people may not be aware that the Farmers Market extends throughout the month of October, can you tell us what sort of special events are planned for the month?
The Leavenworth Farmers Market, located at Haymarket Square, will be open every Saturday in October. The hours are a little different during October, with the market opening at 8 a.m. and remaining open until noon. The month will begin with "Pumptasitc Pumpkin Contest" with Gloria Carney's Catering Class from Leavenworth High School. These students are preparing some very unusual, exciting recipes using pumpkins and this promises to be really fun. The Pumptastic Pumpkin Contest will begin at 9 a.m. on Oct. 5. On Oct. 19, an activity for youngsters, "Painting Your Pumpkin" is planned. Children will be able to paint their own pumpkin and take it home for Halloween.
2. What items are past their prime and will not be offered during the next month and what items will be plentiful for autumn shoppers?
The Market is the one place where customers can easily understand what it means to "Eat through the Seasons". This is the time of year when our farmers begin bringing in the fall and winter produce. We have apples, acorn squash, pie pumpkins, butternut squash, popcorn, and sweet potatoes, all fall produce. Lettuce, radishes, beets, and carrots are beginning to reappear this fall. Of course, standards like onions, peppers, and potatoes are still available. Our bakers are still preparing delicious breads, cakes and cookies, and eggs, honey, pork and beef remain popular. Tomato lovers know the season is over, as well as sweet corn and green beans, however a few melons are still available.
3. Is the market a perfect place to buy fall decorations for the interior and exterior of homes? What are some examples of items that people can buy at the market and how they can be turned into seasonal decorations?
Martha Stewart would love Leavenworth Farmers Market! Everything needed for fall decorations, clear up to Thanksgiving, is now available for our customers. Because all the pumpkins are locally grown, and picked one or two days before market, they are fresh and will last for a much longer time than one picked in California or Texas weeks ago and transported to Leavenworth. And they come in all colors: white, yellow, green and, of course, orange. There is broomcorn, maize, beautiful and unusual gourds, corn stalks, bird houses gourds, and even some bittersweet.
4. What have been the most memorable moments for you at this year's Farmers Market and what have been the favorite events and offerings that customers have enjoyed?
For the past years, the Leavenworth Farmers Market Sampler Bag has been one of the most successful activities we have. The value of the Bag was always between $70 and $80. It was a great way for customers to sample what vendors offer each week and gave the vendors a chance to introduce their products to new customers. Each month Leavenworth Farmers Market has held activities for young people to learn more about growing plants and what good food looks like. For example, during the "Come Play with Your Food" Petting Zoo, youngsters were really surprised to see corn kernels on the cob after they shucked it! "Making Cornhusk Dolls with Carol" was very popular and the children each had their own doll to take with them after the activity was finished. "Cooking Fresh with Chef Elena" was new this year, and became very popular because each Wednesday Chef Elena would go through the market and make selections of fresh produce and prepare it as everyone looked on. Leavenworth Master Food volunteers always brought fresh and delicious samples for tasting and free recipes for everyone.
Page 2 of 2 - The two catering classes from Leavenworth High School was a great way for students to have a chance to show off their culinary skills.
It also helped to get high school students to the market.
5. What's planned for the 2014 market? Will there be any changes. What do you look forward to the most in planning for next year?
Leavenworth Farmers Market is planning to have another season with every stall full of farmers and producers anxious to meet the shopping needs of all the customers.
There will continue to be a wide diversity of vendors offering produce, such as strawberries, non-food items, such as hand thrown pottery and valued added food items such as baked goods and jellies.
Decisions will be made to approve vendors for the 2014 season that will continue to grow the market to meet the expectations of what our customers are looking for when they shop with us.
The 2014 season will begin the first Saturday in May, and the market will be full of locally grown produce and products made by local vendors. See you at The Market!
— Rimsie McConiga