Within 18 minutes of opening, Blue Faerie Farm of Middletown sold all of their strawberries. Within an hour, their asparagus was also gone. After six days of rain, the first 2018 Urbana Library Farmers’ Market opened to sunny skies and warm weather. Blue Faerie Farm’s Jan Wickline coordinates the market this year with her husband, Ray. She said that turnout was wonderful for opening day, and that next Sunday’s market, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., will bring even more produce.
The Wicklines are co-founders of the Urbana Farmers’ Market and the last of the original vendors still involved. The market operated at Landon House for one or two years before moving to its current library parking lot spot 10 years ago.
Wickline explained that some vendors will have a fulltime presence at the market, while others will rotate. Blue Faerie Farm and Kip Kelley’s Full Cellar Farm of Jefferson are anchors, as is In10seBBQ Concessions.
Every Sunday except one will bring live performers. Ed Barney opened the market and will be back. A group of 10 musicians will perform over the course of the season, Wickline said. The July 15 market is the only Sunday that won’t feature music because the library plans “Radio Frederick: 90s Concert by Here’s to the Night” from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Look for three special events at the farmers’ market this summer: Canine Friends Day, a woodworking mini-workshop for kids, and a school supply donation drive just before school resumes.
And when you go, be sure to budget time to speak to the vendors. They have great stories to tell.
Anne Bertinuson of Rosebud Estates in Monrovia has been selling fresh-cut, local flowers for 15 years. The flowers that she brought to the market, including beautiful peonies and false indigo, were cut the night before. Throughout the summer and into the fall, she will bring flowers as they bloom in season. She is looking forward to the sunflowers and hydrangeas, she said.
Joyce Kwamena-Poh of Frederick sells NKU Butter and jewelry made from beads created in Ghana. “Nku” means shea butter in the Ga language spoken in Ghana. Kwamena-Poh sources ingredients from Ghana, using unrefined African shea butter, raw cocoa butter, glycerin and coconut oil with no added fragrance. She makes her NKU Butter herself in small batches and has been selling it since 2009.
CloudGeode by Christina Clark of Ijamsville started at the farmers’ market last year and returns with something new—tie-dye t-shirts and onesies for little ones. Her tagline, “One of a kind… Handmade, trendy crafts” says it all. She has succulents in re-purposed containers, geodes and geode jewelry, as well as unique necklaces featuring wire-wrapped stone pendants.
Robert Van Rens, Thatpotteryguy of Frederick, has been a mainstay at the market for eight years. His pieces represent ceramic goods from different eras and the present. He explained that his spirit keg at Sunday’s market was originally used for vinegar back when vinegar was the wonder substance for preserving food, health and cleanliness. People today, he said, use it for wine.
Karen Yu’s Black Jack Snacks of Damascus are hand-crafted, small batch and 100 percent natural dog treats. They’re high value, she explained, ideal for training. A small bite of her peanut butter and pumpkin, cranberry and yogurt, or carob and blueberry treats is a good reward. Pumpkin, she said, is great for a dog’s digestive system. She recommends dog parents keep a can of pumpkin on hand and add a tablespoon to the dog’s food each day.
Rebel’s Kitchen of Frederick is “a little left of center,” owner Rebel Shell said. The business name is a nod to her roller derby days when she was a member of the DC Rollergirls and skating at the DC Armory. The baked goods are wildly creative and many sport an international flair. The angel food toast makes dessert into an acceptable breakfast—because it’s toast, she said. Her rotiboys are popular street food in Indonesia and Singapore, she explained; Rebel’s Kitchen rotiboys are coffee rolls made with Hokkaido milk bread that is filled with brown sugar, vanilla and butter and topped off with a coffee cookie crust.
Other vendors on opening day included Green Acres Farm, Stone Edge Sharpening and Cacique Gourmet Coffee of Mt. Airy. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/UrbanaLibraryFarmersMarket.