Under the cloudy, rainy skies on Main Street in Downtown Atchison sat displays of colorful produce, flowers and baked goods with stories to be told. Although the weather was not sunny and warm, people from the community came out to grocery shop and socialize in the morning hours of Saturday, September 17th.
Atchison Farmer’s Market takes place on Wednesdays 2:30-5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m.-noon. Farmers bring their produce and products and display them on tables.
Debbie Genova of Genova Farms Produce spoke about what she enjoys most about being a participant.
“Just the customers and providing them a good quality product. We’ve been doing this for about 20 years. We like to grow okra, cucumbers, tomatoes of course,” Genova said.
Genova continued that her farming is a full-time job driven by her passion.
“It’s an income, it is not a get rich quick scheme by any means. It is my full-time job, so it is enough that I can do it full time,” Genova said.
Among the assortments of produce sat a table filled with bottles of raw, homegrown honey and honey products. Belle Hall of Hall’N Honey said that her family has participated as a vendor for five years and relayed how their business started.
“My sister and dad went to a bee class and that’s kind of how we got into it and started out. My dad (farms the honey) and he has hives in different places so not just at our house but at different peoples’ property too,” Hall said.
Among the vendors of Atchison Farmer’s Market were not only residents of the town community.
Mark Zia, a theology professor at Benedictine College, had his own display of baked goods and exciting news to share. In October he will be opening a new Catholic store, and cafe with a fun twist.
“It’s going to be a cafe, where students and people can come, have baked goods like you see here, we’ll sell Italian coffee–no one in this region sells it, and so we’re going to have an Italian twist to it,” Zia said.
He also detailed another fun feature of how his participation in Atchison Farmer’s Market will transfer to his cafe.
“We’ve been doing this at the Farmer’s Market for about seven years, and so what we are going to do is when we open the store, we are going to sell all these things, and we’re also going to sell authentic Italian gelato. There’s no gelato in this region either,” Zia said.
The mission behind the new Catholic store is something Zia says is important for the community.
“We felt that Atchison needed an actual Catholic gift shop in town…. My expertise is Theology; I wanted to bring my expertise to serve the larger good outside the classroom. And so that way folks can come and go to the store, they can ask questions and I can guide them on things they are looking for to try to help spread the Catholic Faith beyond Benedictine College’s boundaries.”
Atchison Farmer’s Market will be continuing through the last Saturday in October.