Fresh garden produce, homemade soaps and baked goods are just a few of the items available each Saturday at the Johnstown Farmers Market in the town square in Bigelow Park.

Fresh garden produce, homemade soaps and baked goods are just a few of the items available each Saturday at the Johnstown Farmers Market in the town square in Bigelow Park.

The first market of the first season was held June 20, and shoppers had to get there early to get the pick of the produce.

Market co-manager Terri Steyer, who also manned the Church of the Ascension garden tent, said most traffic was early, with "everything picked over by 10 a.m."

The market opens at 8 a.m. and continues through 12 noon on Saturdays. It will also be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays during July and August.

Ascension produce, grown behind the church at 555 S. Main St., included onions, sugar snap peas, zucchini , yellow squash and broccoli.

"We had a constant crowd," said market co-manager Pat Kramer. "All the vendors were impressed."

She said the Shaw family, of Utica, sold out of produce by 10:15 a.m.

Another local farmer, Bill Busch, is scheduled to join the market on June 27, as well as a baker.

"All the vendors were impressed," Kramer said. "We had a constant crowd. I know they were pleased."

She predicts even more customers once local corn and tomatoes are ready for sale.

Frazeysburg's Melissa and Joe Potter sold all organic produce Saturday and reported a constant flow of customers from 8 to 10 a.m. The couple said they sold as many items in Johnstown on June 20 as they sold in a month of Saturdays in Mount Vernon last year.

Among other items, they offered Heirloom Swiss Chard, organic leaf lettuce and organic blend baked goods.

Johnstown's Pam Zeirott sold "Pam's Soaps and Such," made from goat's milk, while her husband Brent explained the process of making their product to customers.

"She works really hard," he said. "She offers difference fragrances and designs."

For the first day of the season, Pam Zeirott said, business was good.

"I'll be here every week," she said.

Tom and Kym Hamilton, of Blacklick, sold "Cool Wraps" for the neck. They came up with the idea after attending a picnic of Ohio Pug Rescue.

"One of the pugs at the picnic had heat stroke and passed," he said. "We thought there had to be a way to keep the dogs cool."

Crystals are sewn inside the 100 percent cotton wrap, and the crystals swell after the wrap is soaked in ice water for 10 to 15 minutes.

The result is a cool-to-the-touch necklace type wrap that can be worn by both pets and people.

"I'm a truck driver and put two in my lunch box to use during the day," Tom Hamilton said.

Johnstown's Debby Homan sells scroll saw ornaments, candle holders and lawn signs.

She said the intricate designs take anywhere from two to four hours to make.

"I'm going to try to add shelves to sell," she said. "Business has been real good. I will try to be here the whole season."

Funds generated by the farmer's market will be donated to Johnstown projects, according to Kramer, and leftover produce from the market will go to the Johnstown Northridge Food Pantry.

The vendor rate at the market is $5 per day.

The all-season rate for Saturdays and Wednesdays (28 markets) is $125; all Saturdays (19 markets), $85; and all Wednesdays (nine markets), $45. Reserved spaces are available to all-season vendors only. All other vendors are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more information, contact Kramer by mail at 250 Coshocton St., Johnstown 43031; phone, 740-967-8388 or e-mail, k2ramer@embarqmail.com.