Oak Ridge women make jewelry out of potatoes - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Oak Ridge women make jewelry out of potatoes

OAK RIDGE, MO (KFVS) -

They're called, "Gems from the Earth."  Two ladies from the Oak Ridge area have created something pretty amazing out of potatoes.

It's become their retirement project, and they're doing it all in the name of charity.

"I find myself wanting to do this when I should be upstairs doing something else," said Jo Ann Hahs. 

"It's very obsessive," said Linda Freeman.

Jo Ann Hahs and Linda Freeman found a way to turn plain old potatoes into something fabulous.

"I was very surprised at how beautiful they turned out," said Freeman. 

Jo Ann Hahs says she saw the idea while at a meeting in Piedmont and presented the idea to her friend Linda.

Linda took the idea and ran with it, thinking she could make a little extra money.

"She didn't sell any," said Hahs.

That was until the proceeds went to charity.

"Ever since we've been busy ladies," said Hahs.

The ladies say every penny goes toward a partnership between the First Baptist Church in Oak Ridge, Mo. and a mission in Apaneca, El Salvador.

"They're meeting right now in a home, and they want to buy land," said Hahs.

She says the hope and prayer is to help fund a new church to service that area.

"This is the first time the Lord's ever laid anything this heavy on my heart," said Freeman. "I virtually have zero to none talent so when I can take a potato, and make it look good it's a blessing."

After the potatoes are peeled and chunked up, the pieces are then strung together and hung to dry.

After about a week they turn black and hard like rocks. The potatoes are then painted and paired with jewels.

A lot of work goes into making one necklace and matching earrings.

"It takes about 7-8 hours per necklace," said Hahs. 

They've already made thousands of dollars, and pray they raise even more.

The women say the jewelry will last forever, and they hope to continue this adventure for a long time.

"We'll keep going until there's no more potatoes," said Freeman with a laugh. "Until there's a real famine."

You could call it retail therapy with meaning.

"I think there's a need here," said Freeman. 

If you are interested in purchasing some of the jewelry you can contact the designers:

Jo Ann Hahs (573) 266-3392 or Linda Freeman (573) 266-3315.

Special orders are welcome, and they will ship anywhere in the United States.

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