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On a roll to Rome
by Bill Clough
Jun 08, 2013 | 986 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wanda Mortensen of Skidmore has a specific goal for selling vegetables, eggs, homemade bread and sausage rolls at the Beeville Farmers Market every Saturday – she is trying to raise the money for a church-sponsored tour of Italy.
Wanda Mortensen of Skidmore has a specific goal for selling vegetables, eggs, homemade bread and sausage rolls at the Beeville Farmers Market every Saturday – she is trying to raise the money for a church-sponsored tour of Italy.
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BEEVILLE – Wanda Mortensen of Skidmore is trying to raise money to go to Italy — one tomato at a time.

Or egg.

Or sausage roll.

Or loaf of bread.

She is a regular vendor at the Farmers Market each Saturday in Beeville.

But her sales now have a specific, if distant, focus.

The Rev. Zenon Konowalek, pastor of the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Skidmore, is planning to take 10 to 15 parishioners on a two-week tour of Italy in late September.

“We will see Rome, Venice and Assisi,” Mortensen says.

The cost is $1,200 each.

With her goal firmly established, she has expanded her vegetable garden. It was 50 by 100 feet; now it’s 130 by 100.

“I have a new sympathy for my farming ancestors,” she says, and laughs.

In addition to the vegetables, she also sells eggs from her expanded brood of chickens, now almost 60, up from around 27.

Then there are her homemade loaves of bread, and don’t forget her sausage rolls.

That’s not all.

She also is an author. Copies of her seven-page cookbook, What the Heck Can I Do With All This Squash?, go for $4 apiece.

However tempting it might be, she says that despite time running out, she has not raised the price of her products at the Saturday market.

The Skidmore native, and also a columnist for this newspaper, states the trip to Rome would not be the first time she was abroad.

“I lived in Indonesia in the late 1970s where my husband, Chuck (now retired), was working with the Indonesian government to build a gin to allow the farmers there to grow cotton,” she says.

The Indonesian authorities decided to grow soybeans, instead.

This weekend, she’ll be at her regular spot on the blacktop at the Farmers Market, working her way to Italy, one sale at time.

Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.





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