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Paradise Market: A profusion of garden veggies, crafts and neighbors

September 16th, 2011 Posted in Arts and Life, Business

Story & photos by D. Whitney Smith

PARADISE — Fresh garden produce and specialty items like Utah-made honey wine vinegar add flavor to the taste of small-town heritage Cache residents can find at a local farmers’ market held weekly at Paradise Park.

“It’s totally all about the ambiance — supporting local businesses and farmers and growers,” said Logan resident Tiana Witkamp. “And I just love the atmosphere and ambiance. We love to cook, so, it’s best to buy local and fresh.”

Witkamp’s friend Kristi Bird said she found out about the Paradise Market through advertisements on the radio and posters hanging in places such as Caffe Ibis, a Logan coffee shop. According to the posters, the market is held every Wednesday at 9000 S. 100 West.

Advertising for the market is organized by the seven-member Paradise Market Committee, which was developed three years ago to oversee planning and public relations matters. Committee member Suzanne Marychild, a 17-year Paradise resident, said town citizens all agreed there should be a central location and event in town for growers to sell their produce.

“There are good people here,” Marychild said, regarding why she likes living in Paradise. “The opportunity to have a farm and have some space, that’s very nice.”

Beginning in June and going until the first frost of the fall season, the market is held every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to sunset. Marychild said the market is in its third year, and this season has been “strange.” Due to the abnormally high amount of rainfall this year, growers have dealt with late and unpredictable yields.

In years past, she said attendance was better than it has been this year. It can be tough, she added, to work so hard to organize something and not always see a big turnout. On Sept. 14, however, she said a woman approached her at the market to thank her for providing “such a great service” to the townspeople.

“This is pretty much a Paradise social event, more than anything,” said three-year Paradise resident David Holmes. “We like our community quite a bit. We don’t know everybody; but we get along with our neighbors quite well.”

Holmes said he and his wife Christy Holmes have both been on the market committee since its inception, and they have met several members of their community by participating in the weekly summer activity. The Holmeses sell garden-grown produce and farm-fresh eggs, and Christy sells her handmade crafts.

“It’s just a neat way to meet people in the community,” David said. “Every week we get somebody different.”

Rhonda Miller, a USU associate professor in the College of Agriculture, said the market is a subset of the Cache Valley Gardeners’ Market, which is held Saturday mornings in Logan. Miller is also Paradise Market Committee member.

“I hope it continues, I hope it grows a little bit,” Miller said. “There’s usually music, which I personally really like. We’ve talked that we’d like to have it so there’d be some food; and I’d actually like to see it become more of a family activity where if (patrons) maybe want to bring their kids — maybe have more, like, face painting or something like that.”

Anybody who wants to sell their wares at the market is welcome to do so, Miller said. A small fee is all that’s necessary, she said, and then anybody can set up a table. The rule is, she added, produce and other items have to be made in Utah for people to sell them.

South Cache student Brady Mair, 13, and his mother Angie Mair, who said they live “up the road” from Paradise Park, were first-time vendors Sept. 14. After he paid his way, Brady set up his table and put his hand-welded horseshoe-frog garden ornaments on display. He said he welds the frogs himself and sells them for $5 each. The boy said he’s also experimented with making flowers, birds and butterflies.

“It keeps me busy,” Brady said. “I’m saving up for a dirt bike.”

He said he sold four of his frogs at the market and was planning to come back the following week to sell some more.

Christy Holmes, who knits wool winter hats and makes glass cake stands and soap dishes, said she and her husband have continued to do well at the market. Wednesday night, she said she was able to sell a few of her cake stands and a bunch of produce, such as blackberries, garlic, basil, zucchini and summer squash.

“I think for us, we just like coming and meeting our neighbors — the quietness of it,” Christy Holmes said. “It’s low key, but yet, if you sell a few things, (then) that’s good.”

NW

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  1. 2 Responses to “Paradise Market: A profusion of garden veggies, crafts and neighbors”

  2. By maria jose on Sep 23, 2011

    Good one.This blog mention all about paradise market.Paradise market produces specialty items like Utah-made honey wine vinegar. So this is a amazing post.

  3. By Melissa on Sep 23, 2011

    Thanks for this great article about Paradise Market! It’s a fun event and we hope to see more and more visitors every year. It’s a great place to meet nice people, shop for local food, relax in a beautiful rural area, and maybe listen to a live musician.

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