Cumberland Times-News

Local News

July 2, 2011

Farmers markets showing major changes

They’re not selling just fruits, veggies to customers anymore

OAKLAND — Farmers markets aren’t just for fresh fruits and vegetables anymore. Alongside the farm-grown lettuce, carrots and strawberries are vendors of various different, and unique, trades including jewelry, photography and other artwork.

At first glance, Linda Robinette’s table seems pretty standard. She sells a variety of herbs — mint, chives, basil and parsley — not much different than the other vendors around her selling their produce. It’s the other side of the table, covered with hand-painted pet rocks, that separates her from the typical fruits and veggies.

She’s been selling at the market for three or four years, and noticed that kids didn’t have anything to buy. With six grandchildren and an interest in art, Robinette began painting rocks and selling them along with her herbs — it was surprisingly a hit.

Owls were her first design, but she branched out to other animals when people began asking. The dogs, cats and dragonflies are the most popular, according to Robinette, but she provides a variety. “It’s really just a hobby. I don’t make any money at this,” she said, laughing. “It’s more of a relationship with the market rather than a business.”

She believes that society has lost itself in a world of technology but the farmers market is a way of social networking without Internet — a “community friendship” as she describes. “You develop relationships with the other folks and you learn from them. You also connect with your customers, and they come back each year,” she said.

She comes early each week to claim her table on the end, in the middle aisle, just so her previous customers know where they can find her.

Two tables down from the pet rocks sits Norma Strahin of D and N Photos, a photography business that she and her husband, David, own. They have sold their photography at the market for six years, and it varies from birds to scenes and produce — some from the farmers market.

“We don’t have to water our produce, it doesn’t spoil. ... It lasts forever. Everlasting vegetables,” she said. D and N photos are exclusive to Oakland’s farmers market, although the couple does travel to craft shows.

Scenes are the top sellers, but the vegetable photos sold like hot cakes to David’s disbelief, according to his wife.

“When we first started, we would sell a lot. It’s been slow the last couple of years,” she said, believing that people are taking more of their own photography rather than buying it. Even with the slight business decline, she said they will continue to take photos and sell them. She only has a third of their collection with her which spreads across a table at the market.

Diagonally from her table is Martha Kauffman, one of the local farmers, who has sold all her strawberries for the day — one of the most popular items she sells. Although her table is at the very end, she has a steady flow of customers interested in her vegetables and eggs. She has sold at the market for four years, specifically enjoying growing vegetables and selling directly to the customer.

Robinette’s table of pet rocks may not have as much business, but she supports the community aspect of the farmers market. “I know, myself, I make a point of supporting my local folks in the community.” She gives herself a budget and goes around buying a variety of produce from the vendors each week. “I’m supporting my community along with my own interests. I feel like it’s a full circle.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Overturned tanker upsets Oakland Overturned tanker upsets Oakland

    OAKLAND — Two large commercial wreckers were being used at mid-afternoon Wednesday to upright a tanker full of liquid propane that overturned several hours earlier in downtown Oakland and forced evacuation of the business district.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Park Service opens Canal Classrooms Park Service opens Canal Classrooms

    CUMBERLAND – The National Park Service held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday for a new program called Canal Classrooms, which will offer students pre-K through fifth grade accredited classwork on the Canal Place grounds.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • CODY EVERSOLE Eversole named 2014 Kelley Award winner

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser High School senior Cody Eversole was named this year’s J. Edward Kelley Award winner during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Potomac State College.
    The award is presented to an outstanding male student-athlete in each year’s senior class.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • South Cumberland home rebuilt after fire South Cumberland home rebuilt after fire

    CUMBERLAND — A South Cumberland home destroyed by fire last July was given a second chance recently after the owner decided he wanted to remain a part of the neighborhood and had his house rebuilt.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • School vaccination requirements change

    April 17, 2014

  • Mineral BOE gives $18K to library

    KEYSER, W.Va. — The Mineral County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to give the Keyser-Mineral County Public Library $18,000 for fiscal 2015 and to give the Piedmont library an additional $1,000 out of carryover funds.

    April 16, 2014

  • The Eichhorn family Local family says hosting New York City children in summer is ‘wonderful experience’

    CUMBERLAND — Sonya and Christopher Morgan of Cumberland always planned on a hosting a child through The Fresh Air Fund Volunteer Host Family Program. “Christopher always said once we had kids of our own we were going to do it. When our son turned 6 we said, ‘OK, let’s do it,’” said Sonya.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • City, county officials to talk baseball at work session

    CUMBERLAND — During today’s Allegany County Commission work session, a proposal to study the possibility of bringing a professional-level baseball team to the area will be vetted again, this time with participants from the city of Cumberland.

    April 16, 2014

  • Report: High-quality child care lacking in West Virginia

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Child care programs of minimum or unrated quality are watching over about 93 percent of West Virginia children enrolled in them, a report released Wednesday said.

    April 16, 2014

  • JIM HINEBAUGH Hinebaugh seeks Garrett County commissioner post

    Jim Hinebaugh recently announced his candidacy for Garrett County commissioner. A Garrett County native and lifelong Republican, Hinebaugh graduated from Southern High School and attended Frostburg State University before entering the U.S. Army via the draft. After serving as an enlisted member, Hinebaugh completed Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He retired as a colonel/06 in 1995 with almost 29 years of service including eight years overseas.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Must Read
News related video