Our Farmer’s Market
Fresh, local produce just one of the reasons farmer’s markets are growing strong this summer
BY Acres of Southwest Ohio staff
The farmer’s market is a staple of rural life in the summer. Everyone in small towns and large cities enjoys going to a farmer’s market to find fresh local produce.
In southern Ohio, there are many such thriving farmer’s markets. Not only do these markets provide great locally-produced food, but also are gathering places for residents to talk about farming, family and community.
Here is a look at some of the local farmer’s markets:
WEST UNION — Summertime is here, and local cooks can now find fresh country produce raised by local farmers at the Adams County Farmer’s Market.
The market opened on June 20 and is located at Keim Family Market on the corner of state Route 32 and Burnt Cabin Road.
“I am so excited we have the Adams County Farmer’s Market finally open,” said Monica Bowling, a board member of the market. “My family and I will definitely enjoy the three full bags of farm fresh produce I bought today that only cost me $6.30. Eating fresh really is affordable when you can buy it local and direct from the grower!”
The market, open on Wednesdays 12 noon to 6 p.m., will run through October. The market is available to persons or organizations within a
100 mile radius of Adams County interested in selling produce (fruits/ vegetables), honey, plants, flowers, herb, artisan cheeses, USDA meats, jams and jellies. Fifty-one percent of the items sold must be farm related, and baked goods, deli meats and cheeses, furniture and flea market items are not permitted to be sold through the market.
The provisional board of the Adams County Farmer’s Market is made up of Bowling, Cynthia Brown, Dan Miller and Dona Grant. The market is registered with FMMN.org, LocaHarvest.org and OhioProud.org, according to Bowling.
Buying local is gaining ground in Brown County, as two organizations have stepped up to the plate to organize local farmer’s markets. The Brown County Farmers Market Association has been holding markets in Georgetown and Mt. Orab, while the recently developed Ripley Merchants Association has been holding markets in Ripley.
Markets are held in Georgetown every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. on Main Street, and on US 68 in Mt. Orab every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. According to organizer Julie Klein, the Brown County Farmers Market Association has had more success with the Georgetown location at this time.
Klein said popular items at the market have been corn, tomatoes and squash, though numerous other items have also been sold, including garlic, beans, homemade jewelry, baked goods and homemade maple syrup.
“The people who have been planning this are vendors and consumers,” Klein said. “We feel its important to have a good source of locally grown produce.”
Those interested in becoming vendors for markets can call Vicki Bixler for the Mt. Orab market at (937) 515‑0109, and Klein for the Georgetown market at (937) 392‑1543.
“It’s a way to get locally grown, healthy food and to support those who grow it,” Klein said. “I think it makes more sense to buy locally than to spend gas money and to drive a far distance to get produce. When you buy local, it puts money back into the community.
The Ripley market has been trying several other ideas in addition to selling produce, flowers, baked goods and hand carved wooden items. Held on upper Main Street in Ripley from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday during the summer, the market has also started holding pet adoption weeks, and a “flock swap” event which allows farmers to bring animals other than cows, horses, dogs and cats to be traded during the market hours. Flock swaps are held on the first Saturday of each month.
The market also has a local barbershop quartet that performs in the late morning every third Saturday.
There is no charge for vendors. For more information, call (937) 213‑0540.
The Clinton County Farmers’ Market was started in 1998 or 1999 with nine vendors. It was managed by the Clinton County Extension Office and was created with support from the Clinton County commissioners. Commissioner Rick Stanforth was a strong supporter.
The first Market was held at the parking lot of the Clinton County Office Annex, 111 S. Nelson Ave., Wilmington, now the location of the Clinton County office of OSU Extension.
Commissioners felt so strongly of the development of the Market that they contributed financial support to help develop and promote it.
The Market has seen several producers come and go with many utilizing the Clinton County Farmers’ Market as a springboard to bigger markets from Columbus to Cincinnati or to develop a business away from the Clinton County Farmers’ Market.
After a couple of years, it was determined a weekday Market may be good. A weekday Market was started in the parking lot of what is now Clinton County Job and Family Services.
Approximately five years ago, the market moved to and became The Clinton County Farmers’ Market — Market At The Mural behind the General Denver Hotel in downtown Wilmington. It is now managed in partnership with Energize Clinton County and the Clinton County OSU Extension along with an eight-member board of directors.
The Market has had as many as 18 vendors, in 2012 there are 14 vendors registered to participate.
The Clinton County Farmers’ Market is 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays in the Mural Parking Lot, 81 W. Main Street, Wilmington.
The Market features new and returning local vendors and offers a variety of quality products, including: local meats (beef, chicken, lamb, pork), baked goods, seasonal produce, unique artisan goods, and much more. Special events are scheduled, such as free, family-oriented attractions throughout the season — including our Fast Food from the Farm cooking demonstrations sponsored by the Ohio Farm Bureau.
There also are regular farmers’ markets held in Sabina. The Sabina Farmers’ Market was started May 18 this year. The market is in downtown Sabina behind the gazebo. It is held every other Friday starting at 3 p.m. in downtown Sabina.
On June 1, Sabina Farmers Market started showing an outdoor movie on the side of the municipal building. There are various family-oriented activities that correspond with the Farmers Market. Activities are planned by the Sabina Area Business Association.
WASHINGTON CH — For 11 summers now, the Fayette County Farmer’s Market has brought the best in locally grown and produced goods together in one place for everyone to enjoy.
“We strive to bring the community locally grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables offered for sale by the very grower that produced them,” said David Persinger, the market manager, and a vendor himself.
The Fayette County Farmer’s Market is held each Saturday from late May through mid-October in the municipal parking lot on the corner of S. Main and East streets in downtown Washington C.H. The market opens each Saturday at 8:30 a.m.
While the Farmer’s Market has the traditional things you’d expect to find from local farmers — fruits, vegetables, baked goods, eggs, etc. — there are also a wealth of other locally produced items for sale, including jewelery, soaps, lotions, wood crafts, cornhole boards and much more.
“Our Market Association is working to increase the number and variety of produce vendors. We want locally produced eggs, meats and cheeses to be offered on a regular basis. We hope to provide a medium for information exchange on the cultivation and preparation of local produce and meats,” Persinger said. “And we want the Farmer’s Market to be a Saturday morning community social event where we can see and visit our friends and neighbors and promote local food.”
People looking to stock up on their favorite fruits and vegetables can ask vendors directly about acquiring a certain amount of their products and can negotiate a price.
Visitors to the Farmer’s Market can also stop by the Manager’s Tent and sign up for a chance to win the monthly “market basket” which is given out on the third Saturday of each month.
The Fayette County Farmer’s Market accepts debit/credit cards, WIC fruit and vegetable vouchers, SFMNP (senior) coupons and EBT SNAP food benefit cards.
The Farmer’s Market Association can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HILLSBORO — Two prominent farmers markets in Highland County are Hillsboro and Greenfield. Both markets have changed locations this season, with the help of their respective village and city officials, to locate to centralized places to heighten their visibility and accessibility.
The Hillsboro Farmers Market, being brand new to its home in uptown Hillsboro this week, has been around for at least twenty years as far as organizers Margaret West and John Abell can recall.
“We are tickled to death about the support we have had from the city, Abell said, thanking Mayor Hastings for his part in getting the market moved to its new home. Abell and West said they have already received a lot of positive input about the new location from shoppers.
The vendors flanking Governor Trimble Place offered a large selection of produce, fresh Highland County-raised honey, and fresh baked goods.
The Greenfield Market is in its fourth season and, according to organizer Ellie Zint, there is “a wonderful selection of homegrown seasonal produce, jams & jellies, baked goods, farm raised lamb, pork and eggs and lovely hand-crafted jewelry items, all natural bath products, homemade aprons and corn hole bags,” all provided by the 16 vendors.