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Concerts are over, but market still going strong

Karen Byington, with the duo Wiley Dew, plays a piccolo during the summer Ironton concert series at the Farmers Market on Tuesday.

Karen Byington, with the duo Wiley Dew, plays a piccolo during the summer Ironton concert series at the Farmers Market on Tuesday.

The summer concert series at the Farmers Market ended last week, but the vendors selling homegrown produce, craft and baked goods have another two months to go before their season ends.

Veteran vendors are saying this season’s market is better than the inaugural one. While first-time participants say they are enjoying the atmosphere at the South Second Street locale.

About three weeks ago Karin Vanderpool-Roach of Ironton brought her specially designed tabletop gardens to sell at the market, a combination of tiny succulents and mulch and miniatures.

“I’ve been doing this since spring,” she said. “I was doing it for myself, but people starting saying ‘Can you do this, do that.’”

The seven children of the Vanderpool clan were guided by their parents to do crafts.

“To do constructive things,” she said.

Each garden has a theme, whether it is Noah’s Ark, a camping scene or a day of relaxation in a garden complete with coffee cup, cookies and magazine fit for a doll house. Maintenance is just a few sprays from a mister.

By 10 a.m. Saturday Vanderpool-Roach had already made a sale, but that wasn’t why she was there.

“Even if I don’t sell,” she said. “the vendors are so nice. They are like family.”

Saturday was the first time for Jessica Roach of Waterloo to sell her homemade fudge from, a recipe her father, Jim Roach, took 30 years to perfect, before he handed it down.

“I like the people here,” she said. “They are really nice.”

This was the second year for sisters, Tammy Hanshaw and Cathy Knipp of Kitts Hill, who bring in several tables of tomatoes, hand-dug potatoes, green beans, sweet and hot peppers and eggplants.

“It is going pretty good,” Hanshaw said. “It has really picked up, more than last year. There are a lot more people who have come out and more vendors.”

Each month the pair has a drawing where the winner gets a basket worth $25 of produce. In October the last month for the market that basket will go up to $50 in produce.

“This is to appreciate all the customers who came by,” Knipp said.