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Farmers’ market is key asset

One of the things I’ve done regularly on weekends here in town this summer is to go down to the Farmers’ Market and purchase fresh produce.

How growers have managed in the heat and drought that was this summer to come each Saturday with a load of luscious red tomatoes, juicy watermelons, cantaloupes, and those red potatoes that taste so good thrown into a pot with just-picked green beans I don’t know, but I certainly have enjoyed their bounty!

I hope the end of garden season doesn’t put a stop to the market.

Several Ironton In Bloom members have made it a point to visit Farmers’ Markets in other towns, big and small, and we hope our local contributors will take note of the variety of products sold there.

Honey, jams, jellies, homemade breads and other baked goods, potted herbs and flower bouquets, coffees and cheeses are just some of the money-making products we have seen being offered at other markets.  One fellow brought a whole freezer of meat and sold choice cuts right out of his freezer!

These markets draw substantial crowds since the large variety of products holds something of interest for almost everyone.

Although we now have a very attractive shelter with running water and electricity built especially for the market and other events, I am surprised at how many people still aren’t aware of the market on Second St.

It is opposite the new café and bus depot and adjacent to the municipal parking lot and the Splash Park.

There is plenty of room for more vendors.  I am hoping that city government will see a need for several signs, directing customers to the market.

Bringing folks downtown on Saturday is certainly something they should be interested in promoting.

Are you a frustrated gardener with not enough room to plant all you’d like in your own yard?  Our Lady of Bellefonte has purchased land at Seventh and Adams streets as part of a Community Initiative grant.

The grant will fund the construction of 24 raised garden plots that citizens can rent for a small fee starting next spring.

A ground-breaking ceremony will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23. The ribbon cutting will take place at 2 pm. Light refreshments will be served, so plan to come after church or your Sunday lunch and spend a pleasant time munching and asking questions about this new endeavor.

Ironton in Bloom members are lending their support to both of these projects and plan to help in whatever way we can to make them a success.

If you need fall bulbs, contact an Ironton in Bloom member, since we have a large variety of them for sale this month to raise money for the downtown flower display. We will get the bulbs to you in time for October planting.

If you plan to separate and thin yard and garden plantings this month and would like to trade them for different varieties, bring them to the Plant Exchange at Briggs Library on Sept. 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. The library is partnering with the Rock Hill Garden Club for this event, so lots of interesting bulbs, plants, and seeds will be available. Master gardeners will be there to offer planting advice.

Hats off to the team who did such a good job of maintaining those blooming pots and hanging baskets throughout this record-breaking dry, hot summer.

Job well done!


Judy Sanders is an Ironton resident and a volunteer with the Ironton In Bloom organization.