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July 22, 2014

Horticultural Heaven
Local horticulturists bring produce and stories to Yellow Springs Corner Cone Farmers Market.

By Carol Siyahi Hicks

At Partridge Pear Gardens heirloom vegetable stand in the Yellow Springs Corner Cone Farmers Market, you may acquire more than succulent, heritage food. You may take home a story, a recipe, a bit of humor—an experience.

It’s a labor of love for Xenia Twp. residents Rich Pearson and Tomasz Przepiorkowski. These experienced horticulturists truck their just-picked produce to the corner of Dayton and South Walnut Streets in Yellow Springs Saturday mornings throughout the growing season. They enjoy the market’s social nature and gain satisfaction from “growing nutritious food without deadly chemicals and knowing it’s safe and fresh,” Rich says.

You won’t find their vegetables in grocery stores. The vegetable varieties are not genetically modified and are open pollinated, producing stable varieties year after year, many very old—even ancient—in their origins. On their stand, you will discover vegetables with names like Italian Walking Onion, Sheepnose Pimento and Mortgage Lifter Tomato.

Many of the vegetable types have stories behind them, which both Tomasz and Rich enjoy telling. If you ask Rich about the Purple Haze Carrot, you might just get a Jimi Hendrix imitation. “You have to have fun,” Rich says. “The farmers market is like a carnival. I like having laughter associated with food.

“I love that people talk to us about cooking their vegetables,” he continues. “Years ago I managed an organic, vegetarian restaurant. So I like the mix of growing and cooking healthy food.”

Read the full article here at the Dayton Magazine website: http://thedaytonmagazine.com/DM/Articles/4166.aspx

Photo: Dayton Magazine