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Mt. Vernon Vendors, Residents Enjoy Farmers Market Year Round

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MT. VERNON, Iowa - For the dozen or so vendors who attend the winter farmers market at the First Street Community Center in Mt. Vernon, the selling season doesn't end with the warm weather.

"It's a win-win if we can extend the season as long as possible," said Laura Krause of Abbe Hills Farm, which grows something for every taste. "In the summer time, we have virtually every vegetable that you would grow in Iowa, but left over for fall and winter, all we had were potatoes and beets."

Krause said that's thanks to a colder-than usual Thanksgiving. "A couple of nights of really bad cold, and we lost a couple of things earlier than we should have this year." However, Krause still brings plenty of potatoes and eggs from her farm, which gets its support from people who shop locally.

Rachel Aalbers of Mt. Vernon enjoys the summer farmers market, and was pleasantly surprised to come in out of the cold to find the market still going this time of year. "We bought some apples, and it's nice to visit with the people who bring things here," Aalbers told us.

Aalbers told us browsing is always fun, as long as she can stay warm while doing it. "It's nice to have it inside in the winter time."

For the vendors who travel hours to get here, like Barb's Garden and Pantry out of Long Grove, it's nice to have a dedicated customer base willing to seek out their products any time of the year. "We're actually in seven markets across the state of Iowa," said Theresa Lemek, representing Barb's. "We've been coming to this one for several years, and we have a lot of regular customers."

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