Meats, foods and homemade products — all with a holiday flair — will fill the Knights of Columbus Hall Dec. 12 for the annual Lawrence Holiday Farmers’ Market.
“It’s our last gathering for our vendors, our last hoorah for the year,” says Amy Saunders of Amy’s Meats, the coordinator for the holiday market. “We’re showing off what we can do in our spare time.”
The holiday market will feature many of the same products at the normal market, along with a wider range of homemade and local merchandise. The market relaxes rules, allowing vendors to bring in goods and products that they normally couldn’t sell at the regular market. Past holiday markets have featured handmade clothes, holiday ornaments, candles, gift baskets, artwork, crafts, chocolates and other candies.
It’s not just a last chance for customers to pick up produce and gifts, it’s also the last time many of the vendors get to hang out together until the next market season starts in the spring.
“It’s kind of like the grand finale. Everyone pulls out the bells and whistles,” says Natalya Lowther of Pinwheel Farm.
The holiday market also has more of a festival atmosphere than the regular season. There will be freshly cooked food for breakfast, lunch or a snack throughout the day. Local bands will play on two stages.
Galina Conrad of La Petit Garden says she’ll be getting more jams, jellies and salsas ready for the sale.
“I just bought pumpkins from Pendleton’s (Country Market) to have more pumpkin jam,” Conrad says. “It’s made with oranges, lemons and pumpkins for a taste of citrus and pumpkin. It’s very unusual.”
She tries to make unique combinations of jams and jellies that are still tasty but artistic at the same time, she says.
The market allows others to show off how creative they can be with something other than food.
Lowther usually sells fresh produce, wool products and silk scarves at her stand, all of which she’ll also have for the holiday market. But she adds books of her poetry and stories to her inventory, too. Many of her pieces originated because of her farm and the market, particularly from questions she was asked over and over. She says that her customers have enjoyed her work once they learn about it.
“Most of my customers know not to be too surprised at what I do,” she says.
A big reason for the variety of products available at the holiday market is that many of the vendors are winding down from the growing season.
Don Bryant of Jefferson Hill Farm and Winery says he and his wife, Maxine, try to bring something a little different every year to the holiday market, so their customers have something new to check out.
“It gets later into the season, and there’s less produce, so that gives us time to get this together,” Bryant says.