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Farm market — ‘hub of Hubbard’ — launches 10th season

HUBBARD — Perhaps Paulette Darko’s musical repertoire is as diverse as the vendors’ merchandise that surrounded her.

“I play ’60s, ’70s, ’90s, country and gospel,” said Darko, of Hubbard, who began playing the ukulele about eight years ago.

Darko, fondly known as “Paulette the Uke Kool Lady,” provided the musical entertainment for Sunday’s 10th annual Hubbard Farmers Market in Tylee Park, 13 W. Liberty St.

Sunday’s gathering was the first of 13 such markets that will continue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Sunday through September, Daniel Bancroft, market manager, noted. More than 20 vendors consisting of fresh produce sellers, artists, farmers and bakers set up shop for the inaugural day, he said.

Also available will be fresh fruits and vegetables, vegan baked goods and fresh cut flowers, Bancroft added. In addition, an information table will be set up for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Ohio Direction Card and credit card exchanges.

Ensconced under a gazebo, Darko displayed her eclectic musical acumen by starting with her ukulele version of the 1974 Eagles hit “Already Gone,” followed by her vocalization of “Rocky Top,” the 1968 hit country song by the Osborne Brothers.

While at the library in New Port Richey, Florida, she discovered the joys of playing the ukulele, bought her first such instrument and took free classes. When she moved back to Hubbard several years ago, Darko began a musical group called the Hubbard Ukuleles, but the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 forced her to eventually have to regroup at the Hubbard Library, she said.

Today, she has about 20 regulars who “show up on Tuesday nights,” Darko said, adding that she also leads a sing-a-long twice monthly at the Elmwood Senior Care Center in Hubbard.

“I just want to give back to my community,” she added.

Among those in Darko’s Tuesday group is fellow ukulele player and vendor Diane Cesene of Hubbard, who runs B’s Bees Raw Honey.

Cesene, with help from her mother, Beverly Nutter, was selling a variety of honey products that included beeswax, lip balm, body butter and flavored creamed honey. Mother and daughter also had on hand a line of “hot honey” with pepper added.

“It’s used on fried chicken, waffles and vegetables — anyplace you want hot honey. It’s a little bit sweet with a kick to it,” Cesene said, adding that her father, Thomas Nutter, 89, also is part of Darko’s ukulele group.

A diverse mix of colorful bracelets, magnets, T-shirts and a teacup planter were among the items spread across Maria Amicucci’s tables.

Amicucci called her Howland-based business, Maria Amicucci Studios, “a three-generation studio,” saying that her mother, Rita Amicucci, and daughter, Sylvie, 11, played valuable roles in it. Specifically, her mother crocheted and made children’s gifts; Amicucci’s daughter made traditional drawings from which Amicucci created prints.

“I do a lot of tie dying and bleaching of secondhand clothing,” she said.

In addition, Amicucci and her 11-year-old daughter used to make jewelry together for the studio that debuted in 2016, said Amicucci, who also works at a secondhand clothing store and at Gorant Candies in Warren.

Among the other vendors represented at Sunday’s markets were Village Farmacy, Jo Jane Creations, Deep Roots Self Care Co. of Youngstown, Ferris Farm Produce, 3-D Produce Farm & Greenhouse in Edinburg, Pa., Cresswells’ Produce and Mercer, Pa.-based Lengel Bros. Farm & Market.

The farmers markets will have different vendors each week, mixed with regular ones. Regardless, the gatherings are intended to foster a greater sense of togetherness for residents and visitors alike, Bancroft said.

“This is a great hub of the Hubbard community,” he added. “It feels great to have a sense of community here.”

Have an interesting story? Contact the newsroom by email at news@vindy.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @TribToday.

Have an interesting story? Contact the newsroom by email at news@tribtoday.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @TribToday.

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