Vendors from around the area showed up this past Saturday for opening day of the New Albany Farmer's Market . This market isn't just for farmers, however; in addition to food and plants, there were also baked goods, arts & crafts, a live band, and a Bubble Bus.
Valiantly resisting the urge to put off shopping in order to play at the Bubble Bus with the kids, I explored the market. And just for you, dear readers, I bought a bunch of stuff to try out and report back on.
Walking through the market was a pleasant experience; everyone was friendly and willing to chat, and nobody was pushing obnoxiously make a sale. My first stop was to a booth that featured plant starters for a vegetable garden. She had tomatoes, peppers, and celery. I chatted with her about how to protect my tomatoes from the upcoming frost. She then talked me into buying a celery plant by explaining why she has them: she doesn't use a lot of celery, so buying it in the store typically means most goes bad. This way, you buy one plant, chop off a stalk as you need it, then harvest the rest at Thanksgiving for use in your stuffing. Genius.
I then purchased a bundle of delicious crisp lettuces from another vendor. Another vendor had hickory nuts and mustard greens. There were also vendors ready with farm-fresh eggs, as well as a variety of meat cuts from cows and pigs.
Some downtown businesses were also present. Patticakes & Pies  was there serving breakfast items, including biscuits and gravy and an assortment of little breads (the apple date bread was absolutely to die for). Rookies Cookies was selling an assortment of dessert items.
But what really makes this market special is the inclusion of non-food items. There were vendors selling flowers for potting, a beautiful rose groundcover, and arts & crafts. Jewelry was abundant. I purchased a beautiful bracelet from Anthony & Shannon Nava. Dawn Middleton of Dawn's Designs  also had an excellent array of jewelry. Strandz & Threadz  was present, offering a variety of unique items. There was also a woman selling an awesome assortment of aprons (for men, women, and children).
Next time I plan to bring my kid (who provides an excellent excuse to play in the bubbles), and stick around long enough to listen to the band. Perhaps I'll see you there.
[Photo by Angie Andriot]