A FLAIR FOR chocolate candy-making, the desire for drum lessons and a weekly farmers' market proved to be a recipe for success for George, Joy and Keith Carrick of Mount Airy.
Keith, 12, an aspiring musician who attends Mount Airy Middle School, wanted to add drum lessons to his weekly schedule of piano and keyboard lessons. The Carricks decided free time during the summer months and free vendor space at Mount Airy's Tuesday evening farmers' market offered the perfect opportunity to sell homemade chocolates to pay for drum lessons.
Mrs. Carrick makes Mrs. C's Candy, Mr. Carrick helps at the farmers' market stand after work and Keith packages the chocolate and is the cashier.
"I found out real fast that [Keith] could not be in production because he eats it all," Mrs. Carrick said.
Mrs. Carrick learned the candy-making craft as a student in one of Robbie Raynes' Mount Airy Recreation Council classes. After practicing by making treats for Keith's school parties, she began experimenting with sugar-free ingredients, thinking it would appeal to the chocolate cravings of diabetic relatives.
Her sugar-free candies have been popular and have attracted regular customers. "Two diabetics -- a grandfather and a child -- are my kitchen testers," she said. "Keith tastes everything. He
says he can't tell the difference."
Farmers' market in Mount Airy
Mount Airy Farmers' Market will be open at least one more time at its 1995 location at the northwest corner of North Main Street and Prospect Road, according to organizer Darryl Becker.
On Tuesday, about six vendors will bring their produce, baked goods, crafts and candy to the open-air market from 4 p.m. to dusk. Some vendors, including Mrs. Carrick, plan to set up at the market site Tuesdays through Oct. 24.
Mr. Becker, who grows 10 types of chili peppers to sell, said the drought has taken its toll on some produce growers. "A couple of people dropped out, but they'll be back next year," he said.
Bonnie Senay said the trip from her Sharpsburg home to Mount Airy to sell pickling cucumbers, canned goods, herbs and baked goods has been worth the trip because the market doesn't charge a fee.
Judith and Freda Gehman of Mount Airy, who sell homemade breads, cookies, cinnamon rolls and cakes at the market, were disappointed by the lack of customers Sept. 26.
The Bauman family of Mount Airy has been selling crafts, canned relish and pies at the market. "We hope next year we'll do better," Leonard Bauman said.
Pies have been a popular item with Mount Airy customers, according to Margie Satterlee of Pheasant Hill Farms near Mount Airy. Ms. Satterlee also sells her produce, jams, jellies and honey at farmers' markets in Silver Spring, Gaithersburg and Damascus. "I think this is going to be a good market," she said. "It takes time to build it up."
Changes are planned next year to help the market draw more customers and vendors, Mr. Becker said. More shade and more space will be assets at the market's new location on the lower level parking lot of F & M National Bank at the southwest corner of North Main Street and Prospect Road, he said.
Increased marketing efforts, including a newsletter for prospective customers detailing the market's offerings, are being planned. Vendors will pay a $5 fee for the season to help with the costs of the newsletter, Mr. Becker added.
Mr. Becker said the 1995 market drew 35 to 40 semi-regular customers and vendors enjoyed some very big weeks -- but not consecutively.
"Some of our best weeks were in the beginning," he said. "I think the more vendors, the more variety, the bigger the crowds we'll have."
The first issue of the Mount Airy Farmers' Market newsletter is scheduled for mailing in early June 1996. Anyone who would like to get on the mailing list, offer suggestions for the market or get information about becoming a vendor may call Mr. Becker at (301) 865-0139.
Jaycees yard sale
Don't miss the Jaycees annual Fall Yard Sale from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow at Mount Airy Carnival Grounds at Route 27 and Twin Arch Road.
The rain-or-shine event, which is billed as one of Maryland's largest flea markets, will feature hundreds of vendors and thousands of shoppers. Food for browsers and vendors will be available all day at the Mount Airy Jaycee food stand.
Sunday will offer two opportunities for area residents to enjoy all-you-can-eat family-style dinners and help fire companies raise needed dollars.
Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company will have its first of two fall turkey, ham and oyster dinners beginning at noon at the Firemen's Activity Building at Twin Arch Road and Route 27. Dinner will cost $9 for adults and $4.50 for children 6 to 12. Children under 5 are admitted free and carryouts are 50 cents extra.
Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Department will have its annual fall fried chicken, roast beef and ham dinner beginning at noon at the firehouse at 1320 W. Old Liberty Road in Winfield. Dinner will cost $8.50 for adults and $3.50 for children 6 to 12. Carryouts will cost $10.
Help the horses
A benefit trail ride for Days End Horse Rescue of Lisbon will be held Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. at Rosaryville State Park in Upper Marlboro.
Riders must have sponsors at the fund-raiser, which will feature five- and 10-mile trails. For information, call Kirsten Enzinger at (410) 867-0798 or (410) 451-2668.
Kathy Sutphin's Southwest Carroll neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.