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Farmers market, CAO team up for day of fun

Ruth Crowe picks out some green beans and potatoes from the Roger & Tom stand at the Ironton Farmers Market Saturday in downtown Ironton.

Ruth Crowe picks out some green beans and potatoes from the Roger & Tom stand at the Ironton Farmers Market Saturday in downtown Ironton.

Judy and Tom Balmer have shuttled their canned goods and fresh produce from their Aid farm into downtown Ironton for the last 30 years.

“I grow it. I pick it. And I can it,” Judy Balmer said, a mantra of sorts as made evident by the colorful jars of pickled corn and beets, tomato juice and homemade jams before her. “It’s a lot better than getting it in a store, and it’s healthier.”

By about 10:30 a.m. the Balmers were already sold out of their homegrown asparagus, kale and green onions at the grand opening of the Ironton Farmers Market.

“It didn’t take very long,” she said.

The farmers market, which had its soft opening in April, was bustling with people shopping for veggies, flowers and baked goods. The grand opening Saturday, Judy Balmer said, looked to be a success.

“It’s been good,” she said. “Busier than normal.”

Judy Balmer said she expected the market to pickup in the coming months when more local produce starts coming in.

The Comptons of Franklin Furnace stood by their table of homemade pies, cookies and fudge.

“This is the biggest crowd we’ve had so far,” said Greg Compton.

Alongside the farmers, the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization hosted its Family Fun Day, with free activities for children, snow cones, popcorn and some information about what the organization has to offer.

D.R. Gossett, executive director of the CAO, said partnering with the farmers market for the event was a nice fit.

“We want to be a part of the community and help celebrate family and make sure everyone knows we’re here,” Gossett said. “The farmers market makes a nice fit to promote heath and wellbeing.”

Gossett also said the event was a way for the CAO to show the community its different programs.

One of those programs is the Family Medical Centers.

Chris Moore, director of operations for the program, said a lot of people don’t realize the program works with people to make sure they can get healthcare, no matter what their income level may be.

In addition to the CAO booths, Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital provided health screenings and local dance studios provided some entertainment.

Members of the Ironton Artists Association had a clothesline sale and promoted their upcoming fall show in October.