Cathy and Bill Schmidt of Ash, N.C., arranged the multi-colored yards signs with amusing sayings such as “This place is for the birds” and “May all your weeds be wildflowers” painted on them. The rest of the display included yard ornaments made with recycled metal implements and flower pots with wooden heads, tails and feet to simulate ducks, crocodiles and other animals.
“It’s a way for me to create,” Bill said, indicating his handiwork.
The Schmidts have been vendors at the Buddy Kelly’s Farmers Market in Shallotte, N.C., for four years and Cathy is now manager of the weekly event. She explained that more than three dozen vendors participate with hand-crafted items and home-grown fruits and vegetables.
Andrea Dail of Shallotte offers soaps, body wash, hair products and body creams containing goat’s milk and other natural products. She read about the benefits of goat’s milk and started experimenting with it a year ago when nothing cured her severe psoriasis. She explained that her psoriasis disappeared after she applied her own remedies.
“The benefits from goat’s milk are incredible,” she said. “It repairs damaged skin. It helps soothe poison ivy and psoriasis. Everything I use is natural. Nothing is artificial.”
Gerald and Barbara Muckenfuss of Ash have been part of the farmers market since it opened about seven years ago. They bring their home-grown tomatoes, a variety of squashes, beans and other produce as it is ready to be eaten. They are willing to explain exactly what the products are and other advantages to eating home-grown food.
Doris Shook of Shallotte started painting and designing gourds in 1997 and brings her array of them to the market. Birdhouses, boxes with lids and “anything I can think of making” are part of her display. One of her favorite items is a country cottage with a pine cone roof.
Leah Burch of Supply, N.C., brings her woven baskets and potted plants. Esther Moses of Nakina, N.C., and Deloris McCumbee of Ash have home-made wine bags, potholders, oven mitts, place mats, napkins, baby throws, pet pillows and other home-sewn items.
John and Becky Duchnowski of Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., make braided jewelry and accessories from paracord, a type of nylon rope. Key chains, bracelets, necklaces and dog collars are available as well as custom-made requests. Helen Taylor of Shallotte makes aprons to fit men, women and children in an unlimited number of patterns and styles.
Rachel Johnson, economic development/media/events coordinator for the town of Shallotte, said up to 300 people visit the farmers market each week. In April 2015 the farmers market will move to the new Mulberry Street Park, now under construction.
Other events happening on the north end of the Strand include:
Master gardeners answer planting, gardening questions
Master gardener online plant sale
Ingram Planetarium free programs
Day In The Yard
Toy Time at the museum