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Margie Rooks dean of Adair Farmers Market vendors

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By Ed Waggener

Margie Rooks may be the dean of the Adair County Farmers Market vendors at the Adair Extension Service campus next to the Fairgrounds on Fairground Street.

"I've been coming to the market since it opened," she said, adding, "that's 17 years now."

Margie Rooks grows the produce on 3 acres. She sells every Tuesday and Friday in Columbia. She also goes to the market in Russell Springs, and she offers vegetables at her centrally located garden in the Sano Community.

Her secret may be really great prices. Bunches of green onions and crisp cucumbers in containers starting at $1.00, for instance, put her in a very competitive position. But the popularity of her stand is due in part to the masterful displays and the ready to take away variety of container sizes.

This morning she had some of the first green beans at the market, which were priced from $2.00 to $4.00. They were going fast.Today, Mrs. Rooks was also offering small yellow cymelins, new white and red potatoes, red and green cabbage, zucchini, and hot peppers.

She'll have tomatoes, but they won't be in until about mid-July.

When Mrs. Rooks started, the market was on the infield at the Veterans Fairgrounds. There seemed to be more vendors then, she said, "But this is better. People often would not want to cross the track. If it had been raining, they'd get their cars muddy, and if it was dry, they would get dust all over them." She noted that more sellers appear as more truck gardens come in in July and early August.

Today, on the blacktop Extension Service parking lot, there's still plenty of shade, and it's a really simple access.

There were five stalls open at 5:00 a.m. this morning. Notable customers often appear. This morning, former Adair County Court Clerk Bob White, Carl Dixon, Sandy Janes, and Ruth Wells were among the early shoppers at Mrs. Rooks stand.

Mrs. Rooks is always open by 6:00 a.m. Quitting time isn't certain. "When I run out of stuff," she says, "I go home."

This story was posted on 2005-06-28 09:04:13
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A favorite at the market

2005-06-28 - Columbia, KY - Photo Staff. Beautiful displays, great prices, regular 'store" hours, and a great smile have made Margie Rooks' vegetable stall at the Adair County Farmers Market a perennial favorite.
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