TERRE HAUTE —
Saturday’s opening day of the Downtown Farmers Market was sort of a dream come true for young Madeleine Grace Manson.
The seven-year-old student from Sugar Grove Elementary told her mother last year that she wanted to be a vendor at the farmers market, and that prompted them to develop their Pure Grace Soap products.
As the morning sun shone brightly at the Clabber Girl Festival Marketplace at Ninth and Cherry streets, Madeleine and her mother Julie found themselves offering their handmade, all-natural soaps, scrubs and lotions at the Pure Grace Soap booth.
“We’re trying to bring a few items to market that haven’t been here before,” Julie said. She and Madeleine researched how to make the all-natural soaps, salves, lip balms, detergents and other items in small batches in their home. They package the products and include information for customers. Julie said that all the proceeds from the sales will go into a college fund savings account for her daughter.
Their booth is one of several new booths at this year’s downtown market, which includes vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, handmade candy, gluten free food products and live music.
Market director Majel Wells said she expects the number of vendors to increase as the gardening season produces an abundance of produce to sell.
Special Kids Days have also been scheduled for June 21, July 19 and Aug. 9, when a variety of kid-friendly booths and activities are planned. Four activity stations will include face painting, games, gardening, a photo booth and goodie bags provided by several sponsors.
Visiting guests at the market on Saturday were an Alaskan family making a cross-country journey to spread information about genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in food products.
Brett Wilcox and his son 15-year-old son were in Terre Haute on their way from Huntington Beach, Calif., to New Jersey. Along with David’s mother Kris and sister Olivia, the family from Sitka, Alaska, are sharing information about GMOs and handing out seed packets from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company in Mansfield, Mo.
“We are just parents who want to feed our kids healthy food,” Brett said.
David said he came up with the idea of running across the United States after hearing about a 17-year-old girl who had done it to support her cause. Father and son have been running 20 miles six days per week since Jan. 18. They plan to arrive in New Jersey in mid-July.
The scenery in Arizona and New Mexico have been some of the most memorable sights of the journey so far, David said.
The red romaine lettuce packets included information about the organization GMO Free USA, which promotes heirloom seeds for sowing and harvesting plants as well as a family blog about the cross-country journey at www.runningthecountry.com.
The Downtown Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays from June through October. For more information, check out the website at www.DowntownTerreHauteFarmersMarket.com.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.