Newville Borough resident Susan Wesner has been buying produce and flowers almost every week at the Farmers’ Market on the Lawn. And, she was back again to shop the local harvest Saturday outside of the John Graham Public Library.
Wesner said, “I like the fresh produce. I love the Kennebec potatoes that these guys have,” as she pointed to Horst’s produce stand.
Scott Horst and his sister Arlene operate the stand. Scott said they have a “real big” garden on their family’s property six miles north of Newville in Lower Mifflin Township.
“Most of it is extra of what we have,” said Scott.
And their excess would make other gardeners jealous. They brought a variety of produce to sell, including potatoes, red beets, herbs, peppers, peaches, tomatoes, jam, okra, hot peppers and wineberries. And if that wasn’t enough, there were handmade items like potholders, doilies, birdhouses and scrubbers.
A humble man, Scott confessed the peaches were not from his garden, but from Sunrise Orchards.
The Horst family has come to both years of the farmers’ market that began last year under the direction of former library director David Cubie. The new director, Mary Schoedel, has continued the event.
“It’s something that’s needed in the Newville community,” said Schoedel. “We offer locally grown produce and locally made items.”
The director estimates that five to seven vendors come each week along with 30-40 shoppers.
Market shopper turned vendor, Joann Cohick, was selling eggs and gladiolas for the first time at the market. A circulation clerk at the library, she came to sell the extra eggs from her six chickens that walk around on a property mostly in Upper Frankford Township.
Carol Graham (no relation to John Graham), while not there Saturday, usually sells handmade dolls and a few small paintings to add to the variety of the market’s offerings. The Newville resident has been making dolls “off and on” for 22 years.
Bill Myers, of New Kingston, was also on the lawn to sell extra produce. With a stand called Bill’s Ridge Hill Garden, Myers is not in it for the money.
“It’s not to get rich,” explained Myers, who was born and raised in Newville. He brought potatoes, blueberries, onions and red beets, but once his broccoli is ripe, he said it’s a popular item.
Jennifer Conners, of Lucky Acres in Bloserville, can relate to Myers.
“I don’t make any money but I do make friends,” said Conners. “We like the social aspect.”
Nancy Markowitz, operating the Mike and Nancy’s Eggs stand, feels the same way.
“There is a nice camaraderie amongst the vendors,” said Markowitz. “Everyone is really helpful. People don’t know what they’re missing.”
Markowitz and her husband have chosen not to use chemicals on their “mini-farm.” And she has free-range chickens as well.
“We don’t want to hurt the environment,” explained Markowitz.
Mary Pat Henry, who operates the Totem Pole Farm stand, shares the same view on sustainability. Her small farm near Newville does not use pesticides or herbicides.
“It’s fresh off the vine,” said Henry. “You don’t know how old the produce is at the store.”
“I like to help out the local people,” said Wesner, while holding two bags of the most local produce around.