Farmers market back for winter

As temperatures begin to dip, produce still grows.

And especially, so do handcrafted Christmas items and more. And therein lies the lure of the second annual Columbus City Winter Farmers Market, putting down nearly weekly roots beginning Saturday through April 15 inside FairOaks Mall.

The event will open with 25 vendors — 10 more than last year’s beginning, said organizer Sande Hummel, who also has directed the outdoor summer market in the mall parking lot.

“It is growing because of the popularity,” she said.

Hummel said offerings will include produce, a wide variety of meats, crepes, woodworking items, glassworks, pottery, and even her own creation of steampunk wine glasses.

The format will run 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the same as last year. These opening weeks will include seasonal items, such as MacKenzy Shatto’s foot-high, smiling, log snowmen that sold quickly enough last year that made it hard to keep up with demand.

“People told me that they love them, and think they’re really cute,” said Shatto, with Poseys and Pumpkins in North Vernon.

Shatto also will bring a wide variety of produce from the business’ 17 greenhouses, including two added recently. She expects one of the popular items to be bell peppers, a product of outdoor growing before the recent frost.

She loves the idea that the winter market is returning.

Artist Mary Schaefer of Hope will sell her hand-painted, watercolor or pen-and-ink greeting cards for $5 and $8. Many buyers in the past have used her landscape scenes as holiday greeting cards.

“It just depends upon the scene,” Schaefer said. “But the cards are the one thing I always can depend upon selling well.”

She also will sell hanging moss balls and wooden coasters.

“There are a lot of people out there still looking for organic products in the winter,” Schaefer said.

Besides that, Hummel expects plenty of shoppers will make unplanned stops as they pass through the mall.

“It’s a great way to kick off the holidays,” she said.

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What: Second Annual Columbus City Winter Farmers Market.

When: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays beginning this weekend through April 15, except for Dec. 24 and 31.

Where: West end of FairOaks Mall near Carson’s, 2380 25th St. in Columbus.

Vendors: 25, including sellers of food, flowers, soaps, Christmas crafts, handmade items and other offerings.

Information: Facebook page at Columbus City Winter Farmers Market.