Every year of gardening brings surprises

Each year of gardening brings its share of surprises, both pleasant and disappointing. I was thrilled to see the first pears (albeit only a few) on my two 6 year old trees about a month ago. Today there are no pears on one tree and two pears on the second.

Stag? Coons? Wind? Not strong enough to mature? It’s a little hard to imagine creatures, because the pears were just small and hard and far from ripe, and I’m inclined to think most birds and mammals would be pretty good at determining ripeness. On the other hand, two apple trees had enough apples to need bird netting and three other trees had enough apples to warrant protecting the few apples there. Being able to taste apples from five different trees (Jonamac, Spitzenberg, Cox Orange Pippin, Grimes Golden and Crimson Crisp) for the first time will be a joy. I’m hopeful on that front and I’m also glad that no birds managed to get under the net and get stuck.

In the meantime, this could very well be ‘the year of squash’. Squash plants are huge and so are the flowers, which appeals to many pollinators who love squash blossoms. The squashes, however, travel through the row of eggplants and peppers and into the tomatoes. Wouldn’t be a problem except they seem to be providing excessive shade to peppers and tomatoes which slows down fruit production. I’m a big fan of plants that “do their thing” and have willing flowers, herbs and tomatoes growing in weird places. Sometimes I have to pull them out in recognition of their encroachment on another plant or space. Unfortunately, I have determined that the squash plants may need to be pruned this week and the light increased for other important plants.

And it’s another “market week!” In addition to our regular and guest vendors, two new downtown businesses, Kitty’s Consignment and Persinger Pilates, located at 120 W. Court St. will serve free hot coffee and answer questions about what the businesses are doing. Kitty’s Consignment is a new apparel and home decor consignment and Persinger Pilates specializes in body strengthening and toning. Come visit and get all the information!

Kids can make a fun craft with an “Eat the Rainbow” magnet at the kids’ activity table in the information booth. Kids will select a small “Eat the Rainbow” image, then color and assemble with double-sided tape on a magnet for the perfect “Eat the Rainbow” fridge magnet reminder.

David Huffman & Bluegrass Ramblers will play from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; this live music is sponsored by the Fayette County Travel & Tourism Bureau.

And members of Modern Woodmen will end their fundraising campaign this Saturday to benefit the Brick House Community Homeless Shelter. Members will be at the market picking up: toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, washing clothes, bath towels, laundry detergent, bleach, aluminum foil, Clorox wipes, tissues, baby wipes, diaper sizes 3, 4, 5, 6, canned goods, non-perishables, deodorant soap, shampoo, conditioner, disposable razors. The local Brick House Shelter helps any family facing homelessness in Fayette County. This includes: single women, children, couples with children and single parent families.

Please note that vendors are asked NOT to make a sale before 8:15am! We know customers come early for limited produce and favorite baked goods.

Feel free to see what’s available and even start a line, but the Fayette County Farmer’s Market is open Saturday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to noon. It is located in the municipal parking lot at the corner of South Main and East East streets in Washington. CH SNAP EBT food benefit cards and credit/debit cards are accepted. Those who use the SNAP EBT card for food purchases receive matching “Produce Perks” tokens ($1 for $1) valid only for fruits, vegetables, and food-producing plants. So, “buy one, get one” for up to $25 EVERY market day. Five dollar coupons will again be available to FAYETTE COUNTY Farm Bureau members at each Saturday market; these can be spent at the Wednesday and Saturday markets.

The following list contains the names and products of vendors who plan to set up shop this Saturday. Other suppliers may also participate.

Wooden designs by DW (Debbie Welch): One of the handcrafted wooden objects – birdhouses, signs, tables, dwarfs. Crochet items including kitchen towels, pot scrubs, potholders, baby booties and afghans. Will accept custom and special orders.

Your Other Mother’s Kitchen (Don & Sara Creamer): Artisan breads, muffins and sewing crafts.

Barbara Embellished Stretch Bookmarks (Barbara Black): Bookmarks in dozens of different handmade designs dealing with sports, nature, leisure, OSU, beach, etc.

Garden overlooking the bridge (Hunter & Lorelle Rohrer): Seasonal products including green beans, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, courgettes. Homemade bread, butter buns.

Cheryl’s Craft Country (Cheryl Braun & David Stewart): Wood crafts, signs, wreaths and more.

Cozy Baby Blessings (Nancy Cutter): Melted wax, beaded pens, crocheted dishtowels, pot scrubbers and shower poufs. Baby essentials including crochet blankets and hats, flannel blankets, bibs, crinkle toys and bunny ear teethers, silicone tableware, teethers and clips -pacifiers.

D&W Game Birds (Joe Dawson & Chip Wilt): All pheasant; eggs, chicks, adults. Join the conversation!

Engeti (Alana Walters): Baked goods including bread, cinnamon rolls, rolls, cakes, pies, cookies.

Greens and Greenery (Katrina Bush): Strawberry jam (specialty), local honey, baklava, sourdough crackers. Fresh garlic, cucumbers and other seasonal products.

Handmade Hamilton (Staci & Susan Hamilton): Dog collars, crochet bowl covers, windmills, children’s jewelry and other crafts.

Jim’s Premium Ground Beef (Jim Hobbs): Premium quality ground beef in various packages (patties, bulk tubes).

Julie G’s cookies (Julie Greenslade): Chocolate chips, sugar, ginger, snickerdoodle, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter jumbos, oatmeal raisins, oatmeal cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip nuts, pineapple cookies , lemon bars, funfetti cookies, salted caramel butter bars, peanut butter fudge and candy peanut butter bars. Fresh produce from the garden.

Black Lorre Umbrellas (Black Lorre): Umbrellas to match your personality, that of your friends and family too. With every umbrella you buy, you help your community by helping LBU build our very own Umbrella Alley at WCHO.

Ohio Artisan Beef & 1 Body Life Skincare (WJ & Lanita Fannin): individual cuts, packets of ground beef and beef patties, grill boxes and other variety boxes and reservations of 1/4, 1/2 and whole beef. Clean, natural, all-herbal, fresh, small-batch skin care products.

Persinger Produce and Cottage Foods, The Jam Man (David Persinger): Apple Butter, JAM: Boysenberry, Black Raspberry, Strawberry, Strawberry Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Grape, Pineapple, Brazilian Pineapple, Pineapple Habanero, Peach, Blueberry, Cherry, Blackberry, Seedless Blackberry, Red Raspberry, Red Raspberry Jalapeno, and Jalapeno strawberry. JELLIES: hot pepper jelly. Pecan Texas Chocolate Sheet Cakes.

PPCF & S. Plymouth Raw Honey) (Julie & Dennis Mosny): Local raw honey and cut comb honey. Pies: strawberry, strawberry rhubarb, peach, blackberry, black raspberry, cherry and apple. Cinni mini’s, Buns bars and cinnamon buns.

Squash and tomato neighbors.

Terri S. Tomasini