Soap making stand attracts crowd at farmers market
By Lizzie Moran, NewsNetNebraska
Children with stocking caps and adults with fringed scarves clutching warm thermoses of coffee wandered the Historic Haymarket on Saturday morning.
The Haymarket Farmers Market banner stretched across the street between two brick buildings. The banner, tattered and torn, waved in the brilliant blue sky against the crisp wind of the October weather in Lincoln, Neb.
The market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon. It is easy to spend the entire time perusing the booths and chatting with vendors about their specialized products.
Vendors sold squash, hair bows, paintings, jewelry, old-fashioned root beer and even crocheted, stuffed cats for Halloween, among other things.
A sweet-looking couple stood behind a counter filled with eye-catching soaps.
Jim and Kathy Long own a farm in Milford, Neb., about 20 miles west of Lincoln. On Lomah Acres, “Land of Milk and Honey,” the couple raises goats and uses goat milk in their handmade soaps.
“We started out raising dairy goats because we wanted to have milk for our family,” Kathy said. “We have a large family, and we like to do natural things for them.”
The Long family started their business when an increased number of goats meant they had more milk than they could drink and more milk than they could sell to the community. They needed to find another product that would use up the milk.
“I had already known how to make soap, so I learned how to use the milk and incorporate it into the soap and that’s how we got started,” Kathy said.
At the market, an assortment of handmade, hand swirled and hand wrapped soaps sat on wooden displays built by Jim. They set up their stand each Saturday at the farmers market, where they have attracted a fan base of regular customers.
“My favorite thing about coming to the Lincoln Farmers Market is being able to get the feedback from the customers,” Kathy said. “We do a lot of sales to stores like Hy-Vee stores and that. That’s great, but you don’t get the feedback that you get when you meet your customers. And it lets you know whether you’re doing something right and when you’re doing something wrong. It’s just nice to meet the people that use your products.”
Handmade products and friendly people like the Longs are what the Haymarket Farmers Market is all about.
Next Saturday, Oct. 11, ends the 2014 farmers market season. For a strong sense of community and a fun array of products, cross under the tattered Haymarket Farmers Market banner to explore. It truly is an experience to share with others of all ages.
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