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June 15, 2017 • Headline News
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Tin Can Market coming

Jared Rogers

When you check it out, be sure to arrive early, because they may sell out. The Tin Can Market, that is. The Tin Can what? It’s the freshest idea in Ripley County, dishing up baked goods, produce, and homemade products and services created by kids at local farmers markets. And there’s an open invitation for more kids to get involved!

Ty and Beckham Comer and Tin Can MarketJARED ROGERS PHOTO

Ty and Beckham Comer call it a day after selling out of their homemade soaps, crispy cereal bars, and cookies, which their great grandmother help them bake. The Comer family welcomes kids from all over southeast Indiana to participate in Tin Can Market and foster friendships, business skills, and self-confidence.

The Tin Can Market just opened its doors for the first time ever this year, and currently participates at the O-So-Good Farmers Market in Osgood on Wednesday evenings (3-6 p.m.) and Saturday mornings (8-11 a.m.). “We want to do something fun for the kids, and we want it to be educational, too,” creator Jodi Comer shares. She formulated the idea while volunteering with the Children’s Advocacy Center, a nationwide non-profit serving children in need.

“I wanted to do something selfless in my own hometown,” Comer says. After brainstorming how to do that, she and her family took steps to make a dream into reality by renovating an old camper that now serves as a mobile market booth. The camper-turned-mobile market isn’t completely finished yet, but it is well-enough along to use for its inaugural season, especially thanks to an official sign that adorns the top of the structure, complete with lights, created by local metalworker Scott Summers.

Kids from all over Ripley County are encouraged to get involved in the project. Dubbed a “kids-profit” venture, it aims to build essential life skills and confidence in kids, along with having lots of fun with friends and family in community atmospheres. “We hope to inspire young entrepreneurs,” Comer says. In addition to building business sense, like keeping records and receipts, the market also encourages kids to give back. So far, even this early in the spring season, kids setting up at the market have donated a percentage of their profits to causes like Relay for Life; Live, Laugh, Learn; children’s hospitals, and children’s allergy research.

The potential for sales is near limitless. Kids are challenged to think creatively as to what product they wish to bring to market. “Baked goods like cupcakes; crafts, produce, services like pet walking or baby-sitting; any sound idea is welcome,” Comer says. The market has also hosted kids selling suckers, eggs, and cotton candy, to mention a few of their diverse items.

Do you happen to have a kid in mind who would make for a great addition to the market? If so, community members can follow the Tin Can Market and its progress at Another outlet for real-time information is Osgood’s “txtwire,” a cellular texting service where residents can receive updates on community events. Visit to register for those messages. Any school-age kid is welcome to participate. Comer envisions that kids involved in the market can use their experience as a catapult towards personal and professional success after graduation.

In addition to participating at the Osgood market, Tin Can hopes to also attend Main Street Versailles’ Market on the Square, and Batesville’s Farmers Market. Versailles in particular is offering their second annual “Kid’s Market” on Saturday, August 19 from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. on the Versailles town square. No matter where you find them, the Tin Can Market invites you to stop by and see what they have to offer. Who knows, your purchase from a kid selling cupcakes today could empower the next great leader in our future.

Ripley 200: A Bicentennial Project

Photographer Anjali Fong to collect 200 stories about Ripley County residents

Jared Rogers

Hoosiers across the state celebrated Indiana’s bicentennial in 2016 with a host of community activities. Some of our most loved friends and neighbors even had the opportunity to participate in the statewide torch relay. Now, it’s Ripley County’s turn to celebrate. Our home county officially turns 200 years old in April 2018.

Pictured left is photographer Anjali Fong.

Along with several community groups, the Ripley County Tourism Bureau is planning activities for the occasion. One of the most interesting projects to speak of is photographer Anjali Fong’s “Ripley 200” in which Fong hopes to capture the stories of 200 Ripley County residents. Fong, who hails from Kedah, Malaysia, says the original idea for this project formed close to seven years ago, soon after she moved to Ripley County.

“When I came here, I wanted to get out and meet people. I observed that the way people live here is much different than from Malaysia. I realized that there are many rich stories here to tell.” She originally dubbed the project, “Midwest Stories,” but the idea transformed into its current status after she was a volunteer photographer for the torch relay last year.

“We are more connected than we think,” Fong shares, “And, we have interesting people and places right here. I’m looking for fresh views of life in Ripley County; a look at the real lives of people who call this place home.” In conjunction with highlighting our connectedness, Fong hopes to showcase the diversity of our people. She hopes to photograph people who have lived their entire lives in Ripley County as well as those who have moved in from different cities and countries, “So that we may all know our neighbors better,” she says.

Specifically, Fong seeks to feature stories along the following themes: Couples who have celebrated decades of marriage together, World War II and Korean War veterans, centenarians, everyday heroes, inventors and innovators, those who have participated in historic achievements, and those with “weird or interesting stories that not everyone knows about.” Fong has begun the process of photographing nominees for the project. She travels around the county to meet her subjects, and is also grateful for the collaboration with Voldico Insurance in Osgood, who has provided her studio space for the project. In sharing about her first Ripley 200 sessions, Fong mentions the joy of meeting Zelpha Naylor, a 105-year old resident of Holton who is an exquisite baker; and Jo Westmeyer, who told her about the building of Tyson Temple. In addition to these interesting ladies, Fong has a list of nominees she plans to contact and photograph soon, and she also requests your help.

To nominate a person (currently living) for participation in this photography endeavor, visit to submit a nomination form. Fong needs the help of Ripley County residents to act as eyes and ears so she can learn about the most compelling stories around. She plans to release stories and photos throughout the coming months, as a preface to bicentennial events. Interested community members can track progress on the project by visiting the above mentioned website, and also on Facebook at Facebook users are encouraged to “Like” and share the page to garner more community support. A final presentation of the project is still in the works for April 2018 but may include collaboration with local libraries and the release of a book with all of the stories.

“Ripley County is not just a place, it’s a people,” Fong says. She believes that no matter how long we’ve lived here, or where we come from, we have much in common. As for our differences, Fong thinks they should be celebrated. Her unique Ripley 200 project aims to do just that, while setting a tone for our county’s continuity and growth in years to come.

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