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Archive for Sunday, November 27, 2005

Gifts worth giving

Lawrence Farmers Market returns with holiday offerings

November 27, 2005

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The 2005 season of the Lawrence Farmers Market is history, having closed Nov. 12.

And the opening of the 2006 season - the market's 30th - is months away.

But area residents still have one more opportunity to enjoy the market atmosphere - just in time to take care of a little holiday shopping.

The annual Holiday Farmers Market will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 2206 E. 23rd St.

"It will feature the same vendors as our regular-season market, that's a requirement. They work all season long to prepare items for this holiday market, so they'll have things that they normally wouldn't offer," said Mercedes Taylor-Puckett, market coordinator.

"You can cross a lot of names off your holiday gift list, because there will be many great products there."

More than 40 vendors will attend the holiday market, which will fill two floors of the Knights of Columbus Hall.

Among the products for sale at the event will be fresh fruits and nuts; a variety of meats; holiday baked goods; farm-fresh eggs; herbs; honey; great hostess gifts such as jams, jellies and syrups; fresh, handmade wreaths and garlands; poinsettias; hand-knit scarves and shawls; pottery, basketry and other crafts.

All of them are grown, raised or hand-made by Lawrence-area people.

"Many Lawrencians make a concerted effort to shop locally during the farmers market season. We really want to encourage people to shop locally during the holiday season, too. You'll be able to purchase unique, handcrafted items, and your money will stay in Lawrence," Taylor-Puckett said.




If you go

What: Holiday Farmers Market When: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 10 Where: Knights of Columbus Hall, 2206 E. 23rd St. Admission: free

There will be plenty to eat, too. Shoppers can enjoy barbecued ribs and sandwiches, Lebanese-style pies (turkey, spinach and cheese), cinnamon rolls and Venezuelan fair-trade coffee from Trinity Episcopal Church, plus hot cocoa, hot cider and wassail (wine flavored with sugar and spices).

In addition, there will be live music on two stages, one upstairs and one downstairs.

"It is just the best atmosphere. We have a great time, and everyone looks forward to the Holiday Farmers Market, both the vendors and the shoppers," Taylor-Puckett said.

Among the familiar faces will be Barbara Clark, of Maggie's Farm, located two miles north of the Lawrence airport.

She's been a regular vendor at the Saturday farmers market in the 1000 block of Vermont Street for the past 10 years, selling her own wool and hand-spun or hand-woven scarves and shawls. She's also known for her fresh garlic and garlic braids, heirloom tomatoes and heirloom tomato bedding plants and photo cards.

At the Holiday Farmers Market, Clark will offer her own garlic conserve, garlic braids, hand-spun wools, knitter's kits, shawls, scarves and winter-scene photo cards.

She has attended the event for the past eight or nine years.

"There is a sense of community at the Lawrence Farmers Market, and we won't have seen these people for a whole month. It's a chance to say goodbye, have a wonderful winter, and we're looking forward to the 2006 season," Clark said.

Another vendor who will attend the Holiday Farmers Market is Debi Taylor, of Rangeland Herbs, 1829 E. 1150 Road.

In addition to raising cattle, Debi Taylor and her husband, Charles Taylor, operate a homemade, herbal soap business.

They offer more than 20 different soaps, some of them made according to old family recipes that Debi got from her relatives.

"There are a few things that I don't grow, but what I can grow in Kansas, I do. I gather prairie sage in the Flint HIlls and cedar from the tips of the branches of the Red Cedar tree," Debi said.

"In my garden, I grow lavender and mint and marigolds. I have a soap called Marigold Meadows that's really good. Then we have a soap called Paul and Art (named after Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel). It's parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. That's fun, and we grow all of that."

Rangeland Herbs just went online (www.rangelandherbs.com), and sales are rapidly growing, Debi said.

At the Holiday Farmers Market, she will be selling her soaps, body lotions, home health care products and spritzers, plus scarves, fabrics and crocheted items.

"It will be a good show for me. The Holiday Farmers Market and the Bizarre Bazaar at the Lawrence Arts Center are my two best shows," Debi said.

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