farmers market · Handmade

Morris Market Madness

~ A fortnight ago, I was in farmer’s market heaven. For months I’ve been wanting to go to the 3 French Hens Market in Morris, Illinois, but hadn’t been able to because I’ve had to work every time they’ve had the market. It’s held on the second Saturday of the month from May to October. Just when I was about to give up hope, I did a double take of my work schedule and saw that I had Saturday the 13th off. Hooray at last!!! I invited my sister and boyfriend accompany me to the market of my dreams.

Over 100 vendors stretched out the banks of the Illinois river selling everything to antique kettles to fresh popped kettle corn. The vast majority of the vendors were selling crafts and antiques, so it was more like a giant flea market. But the produce vendors that were there had the same cast of characters: tomatoes, peppers, and various melons. As we prowled though the tents my sister and I found a tent that was selling cast iron animals and antique jewelry. My sister was instantly drawn to a bracelet made from vintage spoons. It was pretty cool, and very kitchy and eclectic, very much my sister’s style.

At the same tent, I bought a cast iron duck for my cousin, who loves ducks, and a small horseshoe for myself. Several stalls down there was an older gentleman displaying furniture, small pottery pieces and other trinkets. I peered at the small wooden soldiers and the large oak cabinets when I landed on a small, brown rounded bowl. It was painted turquoise on the inside while the outside was painted brown with a light golden swirling inlay and decorated with cherry blossoms. The gentleman at the booth delved into a story about how pieces that don’t say “Made in China” meant that they were actually made in China and that it was a piece from the early 1800’s.

I didn’t totally believe his story, but I really liked the bowl. And I’m also fascinated with Asian culture. He originally priced it for $17, but after listening to his story he knocked it down to $15, which was good enough for me. It really is a beautiful bowl, which I have perched atop my jewelry box and it has become the keeper of my rings.

After months of anticipation, I’m glad I was able to visit the 3 French Hens Market. Though it wasn’t what I had originally expected, there was more that met my eyes. I would recommend this market to antique archivers, veterans of vintage, and anyone looking to redecorate their home. If I’m able to go to September’s market, I’ll try to take my mom, who would love this type of market.

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