Arbutus Farmers Market

Bing cherries looked ripe and appetizing as the new Arbutus Farmers Market opened June 9. (Staff photo by Jen Rynda, Patuxent Publishing / June 13, 2011)

Though last week's high temperatures kept some residents and merchants away, those who braved the heat found a wide variety of goods at the opening of the new Arbutus Farmers Market.

Turnout was light to check out offerings ranging from pit beef and fresh vegetables to hot crab soup and cool milk in glass bottles June 9 on the parking lot of the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department, at 5200 Southwestern Blvd.

"The number of people that have come, even with the heat, has really, really been good," said event organizer Patti Sue Nolan, president of the Arbutus Business and Professional Association. "I'm really happy."

Though some vendors cancelled due to the heat, which reach 100 degrees, according to the National Weather Service website, Nolan remained confident about the market's future.

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"I wouldn't stop on a day like this," she said.

Karen and Randy Sowers, owners of the Middletown-based South Mountain Creamery, said they would give business at the market a couple more weeks to pick up.

The pair brought cheeses, kefir yogurts and other dairy products to the market.

"Ice cream sales have been good," Karen Sowers said. "That's probably been the main thing that we're going to be empty on when we go home."

Arbutus resident Bridget Jones stopped by the creamery with her daughter, Ainsley, 4.

Jones said she was excited about the fresh milk that the creamery sells in glass bottles that residents can bring back from week to week.

"I actually haven't been to a farmer's market yet that has that," said the sixth-grade English teacher at Patuxent Valley Middle School in Jessup.

With June 22 the last day of school in Howard County, Jones said she plans on being a regular customer at the market.

"It's close and I like to support local businesses," she said. "I'll be excited to see if they have more produce.

"I like to ask questions, (such as) if it's organically grown," she said "Do they spray pesticides on it? Because you can usually ask the farmers."

Lansdowne resident Ruth Walter bought yellow squash, bing cherries and a yogurt from the creamery.

Though she has wanted to attend the Catonsville Wednesday Farmers Market in the past, Walter said its hours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bloomsbury Community Center don't work with her schedule.

Walter said she thought the Arbutus market's 2-6 p.m. Thursday schedule was great because it would allow her to stop by after work.

"I was really excited today that I was coming here," she said.

Walter said she hoped more residents would come out in the future.

"I want this to work," she said. "So when I need something, I can come right here and pick it up on Thursdays.