Bath Farmers Market kicks off the holiday season

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Not many stores sell fresh produce, skincare made from beeswax, goat milk soap and turkeys all in one place. But the Bath Farmers Market does.

The outdoor farmers market came to a close and moved inside of the Bath Community Center on Nov. 7. Temperatures are dropping, but the indoor farmers market gives vendors an opportunity to continue providing for the community, even in inclement weather. 

The Pretty Shaky String Band plays at every Bath Farmers Market. They will continue to play until the end of the winter market in December.

Katy Stone, co-owner of Laetus Pullus Farm in Perry, said she is happy to stick around a few more weeks to sell her chickens and eggs to the community. 

“It’s nice that they do the indoor market to extend the season,” Stone said. “It’s been fun to come to the Bath Market and meet new people and share products with new customers.”

Laetus Pullus Farm is also temporarily offering fresh turkeys in preparation for Thanksgiving. Stone said her meat is raised on pasture and with organic practices. She said that by raising her meat locally, it gives it a better taste.

“They’re out in the sun, eating bugs and aren’t confined,” she said. “It has a nice, moist, juicy flavor.”

Cathie Wood, founder of Vermillion Creek Honey Company, also said she uses organic practices for producing her products. She uses raw honey and beeswax to make natural skincare products. 

“My daughter is the one who encouraged me to get into beekeeping,” Wood said. “They are fascinating creatures.”

Wood, a retired teacher, said she now uses her knowledge of beekeeping to create skincare products. She said honey is a natural antibacterial, and it supplies the skin with many antioxidants. She also said that beeswax protects the skin from toxins, provides hydration, and is full of Vitamin A. 

She has several different products available including body cream, body scrub, lip balm and lotion. All of these beauty products can be mixed and matched in a gift box, a potential Christmas gift for loved ones in the community. 

Jean Fierke is another market vendor that uses natural ingredients in her products. Chickadee ‘All Milk’ Soap provides soap out of goat milk that is sourced from Ingham County. She said Bath and the surrounding communities enjoy shopping locally and organically.

“We are very conscientious, earth-friendly folks,” Fierke said. 

Jean Fierke displayed her Chickadee soap for the farmers market shoppers to look at and purchase.

Not everyone grew up in Bath, yet people from all over come to participate in the market and appreciate the local businesses. Alice Koerner recently moved to Bath from New Jersey, and she said she is a strong supporter of local markets. 

“It’s more important to shop local for your own health and the community’s,” Koerner said. “We are taught to consume, consume, consume, and I’m doing that, just locally.”

In past years, the market has stayed open all winter long. Market manager Tom Straka said that this year they are shortening the winter market to just November and December. This is due to growing seasons and product availability.

“Right after the holidays is a good time to cut it off,” Straka said. “Then we’ll be back open in May.”

As the holiday season begins, the Bath Community Center will be hosting a holiday market on Dec. 19 that will include cookie decorating and a visit from Santa Claus. Additional one-time vendors will also be present to participate.

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