Wet weather made for tough year at Farmer’s Market
By: PATTI CORNELIUS Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer
Gusty winds helped bring the Lititz Farmer’s Market to a close Saturday. But the chill in the air didn’t dampen vendors’ enthusiasm, either for the season they had just endured or for next year.
For many, innovation and perseverance seemed to be the key.
Sandy Greiner, a second-year vendor, began to prepare for market back in the spring.
"As things come in season, I begin my canning," she said.
Greiner has been canning for more than 30 years. Many of her jams, jellies and spreads include fresh herbs and vegetables from neighboring stands.
"It was a good year for me," she said. "I enjoy doing this."
Greiner also makes Sandy’s Pretzels Gone Wild. The Holiday Inn at Rockvale has a standing order of 450 bags every two weeks for their priority members.
Betty Kloppenburg, owner of All Things New, a business that offers all natural cleaning products, began experimenting with natural ingredients for cleaning a few years ago when a friend of hers made her own laundry detergent. Kloppenburg has asthma and found these natural-made products work well for her.
"This is my first year here," she said. "It’s been wonderful. Overall this has been a great year for me (at the market)."
Kloppenburg tried stands at other locations throughout York and Lancaster and found this location to be the best." Lititz is just downright cute," she said.
This was Christie Twigg’s second year as a stand holder. Owner of Forever Green, Twigg introduced the Tillandsia, commonly known as the air plant. These plants need no soil because water and nutrients are absorbed through the leaves.
"I am always looking for ways to be innovative," she said.
Feedback from customers inspired her to consider offering something more unusual, yet easy to care for. Twigg considers the market a step toward having her own shop.
Jonathan Groff, a first-year stand holder, found a lot of good networking opportunities at the market. His handmade stroopies were a hit as onlookers waited to sample the rich and flavorful cinnamon Dutch stroopwafel filled with warm caramel. Up until this year, Groff only sold his product wholesale.
"This is the first place live and direct," he said. "I believe I am the only one in this country that makes these by hand."
Groff uses Groff’s Candies caramel and chocolate for dipping.
This summer’s record rains played havoc with the market at times and that impacted Charles Family Produce of East Petersburg. Jamie Fuller, a friend of the Charles family who manned the stand gave his thoughts.
"I don’t know if it was the weather, with all the rain. Up until this year we averaged $700 to $1,000 per day. This year we were lucky to see $200," he said.
Fuller, who has his own construction business, enjoys working at the stand each year.
"We like it here," he added. "The people who show up love coming here."
As for next year:
"We got to push through it and pray for a better year next year," he said.
Calls from people who want to participate next year were coming in up until two weeks ago, according to Kelly Withum, executive director of Venture Lititz. That comes as no surprise to Withum.
"The market has a great reputation," she said.
Vendors and customers alike hope next year brings continued success … and a little less rain. More FARMER’S MARKET, page A6