GROVE CITY — Neva Johnston has been a vendor at area farm markets for more than 40 years, and she especially enjoys the setup in Grove City.
“Everyone here is friendly. People take a lot of pride,” she said.
Her farm, Johnston Acres in Pine Township, was one of about 20 vendors on hand earlier this month for opening day of Grove City Market in the Park.
The market is held from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursdays through October in and around the Monteleone shelter just beyond the main entrance of the park off state Route 58.
Johnston was selling jelly, jam and a variety of wool items like dryer balls, pot holders and felted wool soap. They raise their own sheep and have been trying to get creative because there’s not much of a market for wool right now, she said.
Cheri Heeter, the farm market manager, was enjoying the sunny afternoon with her husband Tim. In years past, it often rained on the opening day of the market, which has been held in several different locations.
The Heeters own Breezy Ridges Acres, an apiary in Worth Township.
“We had one of our worst winters ever,” she said.
They went from 68 to 19 hives after mites took over. The Heeters do not use pesticides, as they like to keep everything as natural as possible.
“But we built it up again,” she said.
They’re selling beeswax food wraps, candles, lotion, honey and homemade butter mints.
New for this year’s market is massage therapy with Angela Wells, which Heeter thought would be an interesting addition.
Wells, who works as a massage therapist with Bev Bell’s Healing Touch Therapeutic Bodyworks, was setting up her chair at the picnic shelter.
“I’d really like to build the business up,” said Wells, who charges $1 per minute.
Diane Smith and her granddaughter Selena Garcia, both of Grove City, were selling jewelry that Selena made and items like towels and dishcloths knitted by Smith, who owns Diane’s Boutique.
“It’s a family affair,” Smith said, adding that they also sell items made or embellished by other family members like candles and wine glasses.
Mary Stiffy of Springfield Township and her grandson Zander, 5, were perusing wares sold by Jess Williams of Grove City.
“He wanted to come get doughnuts and milk,” Stiffy said, referring to the popular Amish treats.
This is Williams’ second year at the market. She owns Nature’s True Treasure, selling items like crystals, gems, jewelry and trinkets.
She and her son Kaiden, who is almost 6, enjoy meeting new people and supporting local businesses. Kaiden was having fun sorting through some of the gems, pointing out a heart-shaped amethyst as his favorite.
Others vendors sell coffee, plants, home decor, canned goods, fresh produce and juice, meat and more. More vendors with homemade, homegrown or homebaked items are welcome, and Heeter hopes to be able to offer children’s activities every other week.
For more information about Grove City Market in the Park, visit the market’s Facebook page or email Cheri Heeter or email email@example.com
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