Winter Market closes season

PARKERSBURG – Seminars on gardening and cooking closed out the season for the Parkersburg Winter Market on Saturday in the culinary school at the West Virginia University at Parkersburg Downtown Center.

Rickie Yeager, Parkersburg planning administrator and one of the market organizers, said the program has gone well.

“We had a gardening demonstration – ‘Incredible Vegetables in Containers’ by Stephanie Baker along with J.J. Barrett and Pamela Lutz with Wood County Master Gardeners,” he said. “It was to show how to do tower gardens or container gardens.”

Yeager said there were 40 in attendance for the gardening seminar on Saturday afternoon.

Gene Evans, culinary director for the culinary school, had a cooking demonstration, Yeager said.

“We are very fortunate to be working with WVU-P and they are allowing us to come in today,” he said. “It’s pretty cold outside and it has been snowing so our vendors and customers enjoy being indoors and using this building.”

Yeager said in addition to the demonstration, the final winter market of the season had several different items.

“We had everything from fresh cuts of meat to farm-based products like Windswept Alpaca Farm and Stacy Family Farm, selling popcorn, and Bread and Beyond Bakery,” he said. “Through the day we had about 150 people.”

Yeager said the market will take a break and the first outdoor Downtown Farmer’s Market for 2013 will be May 10 in the tent at Bicentennial Park, on the corner of Market and Second streets across from the Wood County Courthouse.

“We will be open Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,” he said. “Because of demand we hope to be open on the second Saturday from June through September from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. We did a survey and found a lot of our customers want a weekend opportunity to come to the farmers’ market.”

Todd Stacy, with Stacy Family Farm, said they been part of nearly all of the winter markets this season.

“It’s been pretty good,” he said. “Being a once-a-month thing it keeps people wanting to come because they don’t know what will be here.”

Stacy said they started with two items, cucumbers and popcorn.

“We had a little greenhouse accident when the heat didn’t kick in and froze them overnight,” he said. “We had them for the first two.”

Margot Justice, of Windswept Alpaca Farm, had products made from the fur of the alpaca.

“I raise the animals and a man from New Zealand comes to shear them and I send the fiber to a mill to make yarn and roving and then I send them to a cooperative where they make socks, gloves and other items.”

Justice said the alpaca comes in 23 different colors, but some yarns are dyed for more variety in colors.

Jane King, with Breads and Beyond of Marietta, said the bakery is operated by her daughter Marty Baumgartner. King said they have been part of the winter and summer markets along with the Marietta market every week

“We specializes in yeast breads, sweet breads, cinnamon rolls, fudge and buckeyes,” she said. “We also make cookie and soup mixes to take the work out of it, since many don’t have time for the homemade thing anymore.”