A taste of local fare

The days will soon be shorter, the mornings cooler and the leaves will soon change color. Fall is right around the corner. At the farmers market, yellow squash, purple eggplant, ripe, red tomatoes and the occasional colored leaf caught the eye of NKU passers-by.  Simply walking up to a vendor made the smell of fall, that special scent of Halloween approaching, abundant.

Whether it was organic produce, all natural soaps or jewelry, the Aug. 26 farmers market had something for everyone.

Bob Leising, owner of Bob’s Perennial Potted Plants, has been a vendor at the farmers market twice, but doesn’t plan on returning next time. Even though Leising offers some discounts, as much as 50 percent off the normal nursery prices, he has seen his sales decline.

“The first time I came, I did $50.00; the second time, $23.50.”

Leising also knows how to plant and care for the plants he sells, offering advice to the customer who may not have the greenest thumb.

“People think that if you plant ferns under a tree they can survive,” Leising said. “They cannot share with the tree’s water.”

Some of the plants Leising brought were, Red Barons, ferns, Black-eyed Susans and ornamental grass.

Even though Leising isn’t planning to come back to the Sept. 30 farmers market at NKU, one member of the university’s faculty will be back with pumpkins in tow.

Carrie McCoy, chair of the Department of Nursing, anticipates bringing pumpkins from her farm in Burlington, Ky. And those who are conscious of the effects pesticides and chemicals have on the environment can rest assured these pumpkins are earth friendly.

“We do not spray anything,” McCoy said.

But don’t plan on carving a massive jack-o-lantern from the pumpkins she brings later this month. McCoy said the weather has not been as good as hoped and has led to smaller pumpkins.

Fruits, vegetables and flowers were not the only items at the farmers market. There was also honey, scented, handcrafted all-natural herbal soaps and salves and jewelry.

The NKU Wellness Center is sponsoring another farmers market during its Lean and Green campaign, a weight loss challenge for faculty, students and staff. The campaign takes place from Sept. 27 to Nov. 5.  The next and final farmers market of the season will take place  from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. Sept. 30 behind Founders Hall. For more information go to http://wellness.nku.edu.

Story by Jennifer Parker