June 11, 2009
I took a stroll last Saturday morning through the Farmers'' Market, heading straight to the coffee station upon my arrival at the corner of 2nd Avenue North and 2nd Street North. I had to have some java in order to function, and the southern pecan kicked in quickly. My focus was to purchase vegetables for a quiche.
I did not get to the vegetables before I began a conversation with Mother Goose, and then we made a new friend from Starkville. We chatted, solved some local and national problems and parted company.
Not just produce
On the way to make my purchases I saw Becky Childs of Praise Works, a home-based business she owns with her husband, Mike.
The Childs craft four different products: turned wood bowls, heirloom and trophy pens, etched and stained glass and broken China jewelry.
I was particularly drawn to the stylistic pens, all colors, sizes and textures. Two of them were made of deer antlers and were as beautiful as any pens I have seen in nice department stores around the world. The bowls, too, were well-crafted and unusually shiny.
There were crosses made of stained glass, and other items that would make nice gifts for dads on the 21st.
Natural ingredients rule
I took fewer than 10 steps and saw Lynn Pope who dreamed up her own business called Soleil.
Pope''s products include handmade lotions, soaps and body scrubs. Most of her products are made with natural ingredients, eliminating the worry that can come with using harsh chemicals.
"I started about three years ago, making soap," said Pope. "I got on the Internet and quickly discovered all sorts of other products that can easily be made in an ordinary kitchen. I use my microwave a lot and my computer to make labels and logos."
Pope said that she will experiment with mosquito repellent that contains all-natural ingredients.
"That''s something I''ve noticed," she said. "People are becoming more and more aware and concerned with what ingredients are used in certain products."
Although Pope has participated only in the Saturday mornings at Farmers'' Market, she plans to try Thursday mornings to see what happens.
Local artist caught in action
Fewer than 10 steps in another direction I met local artist Sharon Foster. She makes homemade cards, among other things, some of which I have seen for sale at local establishments such as Table of Plenty.
I had seen Foster collaborating with Mother Goose on a project when I first arrived near the coffee station. "Goose" had created with the children a hand fan with a drawing of a goose on the front surface. Foster, with a few colored markers, and some fancy strokes, made the goose 3-D with a "new and improved" look.
In the present economic state the number of home-based businesses is on the rise. Making candles, pens, salsa, barbecue sauce, soaps and lotions may not pay the entire house note, but it can become a significant supplemental income.
Unfortunately, I never made it to the vegetables Saturday morning.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention that several people wrote me a few weeks ago to comment on the article on wings and to tell me about the Great American Deli in Leigh Mall. They were adamant that the wings there are meaty and delicious. I paid them a visit and it is true.
John Dorroh is a semi-retired high school science teacher, who writes a business column for The Dispatch.
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