Homegrown and Homemade with Love
Hope Farmer's Market opens with a resurgence of interest
Hope celebrated the summer solstice with the grand opening of the new and improved Hope Community Market. The new market manager, Francesca Dees, rang the bell at precisely 2 pm.
“I’m so happy to see a full market,” Dees said with a slight European accent. “The market is now open.”
Dees presented a bouquet of flowers to Diana May and Kim Spencer to honor their dedication to the Hope Market. Diana May, the first site manager, has sold flowers at the market for 12 years, and managed it for ten. Kim Spencer, who has a variety of organic soap and hand made baskets, has been a dedicated vendor for many years.
The Friday afternoon market, located at the Hope Memorial Community Center just off Hwy. 200 in Hope, has become a cornerstone of the community, enabling local vendors to share their bounty of greens, fresh baked goods and hand-made crafts. The market provides a great place for local networking, allowing people to reconnect with family and neighbors.
Every week a different non-profit organization will have a bakery sale. I purchased a delicious donut slathered with rich creamy maple icing from a Clark Fork High School student raising money to go to Australia. Hope Elementary School will sell baked goods on June 27.
I almost didn’t have enough room for the hamburger barbecued by the Hope Volunteer Fire Department. It tasted like picnics and the fourth of July. I managed to get it down with the help of some homemade lemonade.
While I ate, I enjoyed music played by Clark Fork High School students, Tala and Ashley, on the sax and clarinet. The market will feature an assortment of local musicians throughout the summer, including Bruce Bishop, Vance Bergeson, Bright Moments, Mike Strain and Karen Pogorelski.
A soft breeze carried the scent of lavender from one of the vendors, and I wandered over to do some birthday shopping. I purchased Eucalyptus Mint Sugar Scrub for one of my friends, and bought some organic soap for myself.
Feeling full, I strolled through the flowers, vegetables, and garden goods. I had to stop at the jam shop. I browsed through an assortment that included pineapple, apricot, blueberry, wild blackberry and strawberry. A lovely young woman with fire red hair smiled at me.
“I help my mom with her goods,” said Melody. “She adds a new flavor every year.”
Melody said she has worked at the market for about five years. She also helps her mom make the princess crowns that sell for three dollars. I bought a pink one for my great-niece, the princess of my heart.
Mary Amar sells hand made greeting cards and crocheted dish cloths and rag rugs. Her 90-year-old mom makes the dish cloths and rag rugs. She goes out and gathers the material, dyes, washes, dries, and rolls them into the rags.
“She’s 90 years old and still so productive,” said Mary.
I located the perfect birthday card for my gardening friend. It says, “Happy Blooming Birthday” and has a blue flower on the cover.
Quite pleased with myself, I sifted through some jewelry and found some earrings for my niece. I thought they went well with the princess crown I bought for her daughter. I sat down to rest, and enjoyed watching some children painting pottery. Lisa Hall with Pottery in Motion brought her workshop for children of all ages to enjoy.
Before leaving, I went back to thank Francesca Dees for my successful shopping day.
“We are expanding the market so people can come out and enjoy a nice Friday afternoon,” Dees said. “The idea is to truly bring people back together like in the olden days. In Europe, they have markets like this all the time. It is difficult to find fresh produce in the stores. But everything here is home grown or home made with love.”
On my way out, I purchased a bouquet of flowers for my house. They smell like summer and grace my kitchen table, reminding me of hope and family and friends. The farmer’s market benefits our economy, our farmers, and is a good way to become a locavore, a person who eats locally grown and produced food. See you at the market!