Note: This article is the second in a series about the regular vendors at the Wabash County Farmers Market. The farmers market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the TenPins bowling alley parking lot located at 930 W. Ninth St. in Mount Carmel. For more information, visit wabashcountyfarmersmarket.com.
MOUNT CARMEL — When Nan Adams moved to Illinois in 1980, country living was a little too arid for her.
“I had lots of open space — no trees — and our house was in the middle of a cornfield,” she said. “So I started growing flowers because I needed something pretty around.”
What began as a way to beautify her surroundings has become a conduit for getting involved with the community.
Last year, Haleigh Buchanan asked Nan if she would be interested in participating in the Wabash County Farmers Market.
“I thought, ‘Yeah, I’ll do that!’ ” she said. “I like it because I get to see everybody on a regular basis. It’s as much of a social engagement for me as it is selling plants.”
Nan is a pediatric physical therapist and works in the birth to 3-years program.
She travels to children’s homes in Wabash, Lawrence, Richland and Clay counties to do physical therapy. Since her work is rather solitary, Nan appreciates the bustling little market.
“It just makes me happy. People enjoy talking about plants and I enjoy telling them about them,” she said. “I get to remember who they are and what their name is, do it the whole summer and then look forward to seeing them one week to the next — that’s one of the things I really enjoy about it.”
Nan’s primary products at the farmers market are potted perennial starts and bouquets in mason jars or other unique vases. Bouquets range in price from $3 to $10, and pots of perennials are $5 to $7.
In addition to potted flowers and picture-perfect bouquets, this year Nan has started to bring potted herbs. The response to her plants have been great, she said.
“I have some people that come back every week for bouquets,” she said. “And if I don’t sell the plants, it doesn’t make any difference, I can give bouquets away to anyone I’d like!”
Many people ask Nan if she has a green thumb, but she says having a green thumb is only part of what makes a good gardener.
“Maybe I have a little bit of a green thumb, but I also only plant that which grows. I can have something grow in my garden and it’s just not happening, and after a couple of times I just decide that’s not my plant,” she said.
Nan has begun to experiment with different types of plants now that her once-treeless country property has areas of shade.
“I like lots of color, so things that flower and not just foliage,” she said. “My husband (Gary) enjoys doing it too. He does more bulbs — like daffodils, day lilies, asiatic lilies. He’s the bulb person and I’m more of a perennial type of person.”
Nan and her perennials can be found on the left side of the farmers market, under a large red umbrella with yellow and blue stripes.