Farmers’ market opens for the season
Five vendors appeared at Hillsboro farmers’ market when it opened for the summer Thursday at Memorial Park. That’s a bit short of the market’s six to 10 vendor average of last year.
Vendors pay no fees and are not required to follow a schedule. The market officially is open Thursdays 5 to 7 p.m. for vendors who make products from their home or garden.
“There have been gardeners, a lot of bakers, Jason Wiebe Dairy from Durham has the best cheese curds in the world!” said Lisa Donahue, one of the managers of the market which runs weekly from June to September. “There was a lady and her husband last year who made jewelry out of wood, a cupcake-and-cake-pop lady, and people from the Mennonite church with incredible cinnamon rolls and pies.”
While Donahue has not noticed any in recent years, she said that children and teens who create their own products are welcome, too.
One of the market’s largest draws is meals. Last week, Mama C’s Take and Bake provided a meal; this week, it will serve smoked turkey, pasta salad, cucumber salad, and Rice Krispie treats.
“Last week, my husband, my son, and my dad helped me serve food,” said Carla Hann, owner of Mama C’s. “Everybody was relaxed ... it was just a really calm evening. It was really nice!”
The farmers’ market used to schedule only nonprofit organizations to provide the meals, but have been allowing for-profit groups to join as long as they donate towards a local cause.
Mama C’s, The Pickup Line, Hillsboro Community Hospital, the Lions Club, several youth groups, and local nursing homes have all provided dinners in the past.
Donahue works for Salem Home and reported on how a meal they provided last year went. “After we took out the cost, we made over $500. That went to our activity fund for the seniors. We’ll be doing one again this year.”
Last year, Mama C’s donated to Hillsboro High School’s sophomore class. The class had tried to raise funds through Mama C’s earlier in the year, but could only work three or four days before pandemic shut them down. So Hann put the money from the roughly 150 meals sold at the farmers’ market toward them.
Hann hasn’t decided what group will receive her donation this year.
“I’ll probably do the Lions Club, because I know they were hurt pretty hard with COVID-19 and not being able to do their arts and crafts fair,” Hann said, her kitchen clattering in the background. “We got asked pretty last-minute because they try to get civic groups to do it, which is great, but with COVID we’re still having trouble with them coming back.”