The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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May 24, 2013

Earthen Treasures: Vendors and shoppers ready for farmers market

CLINTON — Jean Morgan spends more than 10 hours a week weeding, planting and tending to 2-acre plot of land just outside of Camanche.

On a cloudy Thursday morning, she watches the clouds while walking between rows of onions to weed between heads of lettuce.

It’s all part of a service Morgan, along with a dozen or so other local gardeners and food artisans, offers to the community by selling at the Lyons Farmers Market.

The Lyons Farmers Market kicks off Saturday morning with local vendors selling their fresh vegetables, baked goods, meats and other locally produced goods. The market will be from 4 to 6 p.m. every Wednesday and 8 to 11 a.m. every Saturday at Four Square Park in Lyons. The official end date is slated for Nov. 2.

Market manager Ken Shelly said vendors will likely be sold out by 9:30 a.m. for the initial three weeks, but will have more stock as summer approaches.

Morgan is one of a handful of vendors who has been selling at the market for nearly the entire 30 years it has been running. Growing vegetables has been a passion of hers for many years and she enjoys offering her products to members of the community.

“I grew up with it. I liked gardening as a kid and it kinds of stuck with me,” Morgan said. “If I would have married a farmer, I would have been a farmer. But I didn’t, so I’m a gardener.”

While she cans some of the vegetables she grows, Morgan sells a bulk of them at the Lyons Farmers Market. The initial offerings will include spinach, lettuce, onions and radishes. As summer progresses, fresh vegetable-seekers will find sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, peas, beans and an assortment of other produce.

As some vendors prepare for the market as they have for more than 20 years, others are preparing for their first.

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