Local farmers’ market is all about variety

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WAYNESBURG – Kimberly Mowl is the kind of farmers’ market shopper who not only knows what she wants, but how to get it.


“I called Bill Fontana up myself to make sure he was coming,” she said. “He knows how much I love homemade Italian food, so I’ll be stocking up.”


Fontana, of Callifonti Foods of Canonsburg, has a more than a 60-mile drive to bring freshly made sauces, tortellini and pastas to the Wayneburg Farmers’ Market. But thanks to Mowl’s cheerful persistence, he will be making the trip to the market today and on a monthly basis to satisfy customers he’s attracted in the last two years.


“We have three new sauces and our special is buy a sauce and get cheese tortellini two for five dollars,” Fontana said.


“I really enjoy shopping this market because I work at Career Link and can run out on my lunch hour and shop,” Mowl said. “I appreciate that Kay Collins was able to help out the students at West Greene by selling their seedlings here in town when the market first opened in May. I feel like these people are my friends.”


Now that the long cold winter is over and spring is finally coming on, fresh produce is more available. Today’s market has locally grown hydroponic tomatoes and fresh picked asparagus and rhubarb for sale. There are big pots of blossom-covered patio tomato plants, flower and vegetable seedlings, hanging baskets, Plum Run wines and baked goods.


Salt-rising bread, pies, quiches and sweets from Rising Creek Bakery in Mt. Morris are for sale at Artbeat Gallery at the corner of High Street. The picnic tables on the courthouse lawn are close enough to receive the Internet connection that Fishers Antiques provides and the space on the sidewalk in front of the courthouse is there for any organization or public interest group to set up a table and share their information with passersby.


At last week’s market, drug-and-alcohol prevention specialist Shanna Yourchik was there to promote the county’s tobacco control program, with plenty of yucky photos of what tobacco products can do to individuals.


“We reach out to kids and adults through schools, day camps and senior centers,” Yourchik said.


“If you want help stop smoking, you can start by calling 1-800-Quit-Now.”


The Waynesburg Farmers’ Market started May 14 and will run weekly from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until mid-October. The regulars who shop the Wednesday market have their timing down. Vehicles can slip in and out of the reserved 15-minute parking spaces in front of the courthouse and savvy shoppers bring their own reusable bags to tote their produce home.


Anyone who is interested in participating in this year’s market can talk to some of the regular vendors and learn the market’s rules.


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