Sheila McConn

Sheila McConn (left) of Harden Family Farm in Fredericktown has been a vendor at the annual Waynesburg Farmers Market and Forum since its inception in 2005. (Photo by Samantha Karam)

On May 15 the annual Waynesburg Farmers Market and Forum had its opening day in front of the courthouse in Waynesburg. The market, coordinated by Waynesburg Prosperous & Beautiful, offers food and products from various vendors until mid-October.

Jeanine Henry, president of Waynesburg Prosperous & Beautiful, said she’s hired a farmers market manager for this year’s season: Tanner McKnight, a senior at Waynesburg University.

“Our vendors have been with us for many years, they’re seasoned long-term vendors who could run the market themselves, but a manager adds stability and it’s a point of contact for people to call for information,” Henry said.

Waynesburg Prosperous & Beautiful is entirely made up of volunteers, and McKNight will be an independent contractor for the organization. He will coordinate different events throughout the season and act as a resource for anyone with questions related to the farmers market.

Aside from this new position, Henry said the vendors are all the same, as are the hours of operation: Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Of the vendors present at opening day was Shelia McConn, who runs Harden Family Farm in Fredericktown with her husband Fred.

“We thought it went very well, we couldn’t have asked for a better day,” Sheila said of opening day. “We pretty much sold out of what we had. The other vendors did very well too.”

The couple has been growing and selling vegetables and free-range chicken eggs since the farmers market’s inception in 2005. They also offer an array of products such as relishes, apple and pumpkin butters and vegetables from other farms in the state.

“Everything we sell is from Pennsylvania,” Sheila said. “We are a Pennsylvania-preferred farm, that’s really important to us.”

Henry said the other vendors are as follows: Willow Tree Farm Baked Goods, which sells whole pies and other baked goods by the dozen; Sue’s Bakery, which serves dough and individual baked goods like slices of zucchini bread; Plum Run winery; Lardin House, which is a food truck and Autumn’s Boutique, which sells all natural and handmaid beauty products like lip balms, soaps and lotions.

Henry said potential vendors must apply through Waynesburg Prosperous & Beautiful and, if approved, will receive a designated spot along High Street.

There is a fee, but Sheila said Waynesburg Prosperous & Beautiful offers payment plans.

Sheila said the community of vendors is supportive and just wants to see each other succeed.

“The day before I called everybody to touch base with each other to see what we are doing,” Shelia said.

The annual farmers market began in May 2005 and, Henry said, it’s moved three locations over the years. It began in the parking lot of First Baptist Church in Waynesburg, then moved to the empty lot on Greene Street behind what is now Eye Candy Salon. However, it wasn’t getting enough foot traffic so it moved to its current location on the corner of Church and High Streets in front of the courthouse.

Sheila said it’s been at its current location for close to ten years.

“I would like to think that our being there is a positive experience, that we’re not hurting any businesses that are already there,” Sheila said. “I like to think we help not hurt the community.”

For more information or to apply to be a vendor, email Waynesburg Prosperous & Beautiful at msm@waynesburgpa.org or visit Facebook @WaynesburgPA or @WaynesburgFarmersMarket.

“The farmers market and main street are pretty much synonymous,” Henry said. “I think it’s an asset to our downtown area. I’m a big proponent in buying local and buying Greene.”

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