Vendors offer homemade gifts for holidays

Staff writer

The Florence Farmers Market Holiday Market boasted local items with holiday flair on Saturday. Four local vendors were selling everything from cookies to canned okra, to holiday signs and gourds painted as snowmen at the Masonic Florentine Center in Florence.

Event coordinator Carol Callahan of Burns said the event was busy during the morning hours, but slowed as lunchtime grew near.

“I sold out of homemade cinnamon rolls early,” she said.

She was selling canned items, homemade bread, and bedazzled purses made of jeans.

“We have the farmers market in the summer, but of course it’s winter so nothing is growing so markets like these are mostly crafty things and baked goods,” she said.

She participated in a similar craft show earlier in November in Burns, and will attend another Dec. 7 in Peabody.

“We’re basically supplying people with the opportunity to buy homemade local gifts,” she said.

Sherry Austin of Florence put her creative skills to work, creating various homemade crafts for Saturday’s market.

She made potpourri out of homegrown flowers.

“They took a week to dry and then add smelling oils,” she said.

She also turned gourds, which were unusually small this year, into snowmen.

“I painted them and added fabric around the small parts of the gourds for scarves and the stem is the hat,” she said.

She also made wreaths out of cornhusks, and “redneck wine glasses” out of glass candleholders and red Solo cups.

Martin Fent of Hillsboro, owner of Uncle Marty’s Cookies spent the last two days making various flavors of cookies for today’s market.

He had four flavors available to guests Saturday, snicker doodle, chocolate chip, oatmeal cranberry, and peanut butter peanut butter chip.

“The type of cookie that is popular depends on the weekend and the place,” Fent said. “Peanut butter has sold well today. I can’t pick a favorite because I like them all, but I like the peanut butter a lot.”

He said that if you factor in the number of guests attending the market, he did well at Saturday’s market.

Fent says he sells his cookies in increments of two, and a dozen cookies at several farmers markets including Peabody, Hillsboro, and Marion, and grocery stores including Carlsons’.

After Thanksgiving, Fent will begin preparing his Christmas sugar cookies and gingerbread girls and boys cookies.

 

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