New farmers’ markets sprout up in region
|The recently opened Countryside Farmers’ Market (shown above from a previous year) at Howe Meadow in Cuyahoga Falls, organized by the Countryside Conservancy, offers a variety of fresh products, as shown below.
The Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow in Cuyahoga Falls, organized by the Countryside Conservancy, opened last month, while the Conservancy’s new market in Highland Square began operating June 1. Also, Peninsula is home to a market again at Heritage Farms.
Beth Knorr, market manager and local food programs coordinator for the Conservancy, said the organization has conducted markets since 2004. Saturday markets first took place at Heritage Farms on Riverview Road and then two years ago moved to Howe Meadow, where business has grown annually. In the first year, about 700 people attended each week, while about 1,100 came weekly last year, Knorr said.
The number of vendors also has grown from about 40 to 60 this year, she added.
“It’s very family-friendly with a relaxed atmosphere,” she said of the Saturday market, held from 9 a.m. to noon at 4040 Riverview Road. “It’s a chance for people to get outside and enjoy not only what is available with local food vendors, but also the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It’s such a great way to connect health and wellness with physical activity and eating good food.”
Four years ago, the Conservancy started a second market in West Akron at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens on Thursdays. That market is now going to take place in Highland Square on Wednesdays.
“We loved being at Stan Hywet, but we weren’t seeing enough customer traffic, and vendor sales weren’t what they needed to be,” Knorr said. “We needed to do something to create visibility.”
The Highland Square Neighborhood Association approached the Conservancy about organizing a market there, Knorr said, and a trial farmers’ market took place at last summer’s Art in the Square.
“The vendors who participated in that were extremely excited,” she said. “They were impressed with the customers. Many people said, ‘You guys should be here every week.’”
The market will take place Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. along Conger Avenue near the intersection of West Market Street and Portage Path through Sept. 28.
Knorr said the site should give the vendors the visibility they need and also appeal to residents of the neighborhood, which is pedestrian friendly.
About 26 vendors are expected to be at the site weekly, she said, adding the Conservancy plans to bring the market to the site again next summer.
“We’re committed to keeping the market there,” she said. “It’s always my goal to go into a place and look at it like a long-term relationship. The nice thing about Highland Square is it is the type of community that embraces this kind of thing.”
For more information about the markets, call 330-657-2542 or go to www.cvcountryside.org.
Also taking place on Wednesdays is the new Peninsula Farmers’ Market at Heritage Farms, 6050 Riverview Road, which will open for business June 15. It will be open through Sept. 28 from 3:30 to 7 p.m.
Karen Walters, market manager, said farm owners Carol and George Haramis have considered hosting a market since the Conservancy market moved to Howe Meadow.
“Carol had gotten so much response from the community and customers that they would like to see a market at the farm,” Walters said.
During the past winter, the owners and staff members started planning to organize a market. Walters said there are more than 20 vendors who have committed to come to the market.
“We would like to see between 25 and 30,” she said. “We don’t want it to be a huge market. We want it to be a small, intimate market.”
The farm, which is known for its Christmas trees in December and Pumpkin Pandemonium events in the fall, has been in the same family for more than 160 years, Walters said. Because it’s a working farm, the site will be great for a market, she added.
“People like coming to a farm for a farmers’ market,” she said.
The farm plans to continue the market next year, and hopes that it can grow into a two-day-a-week event in the future, Walters said.
For more information on the Peninsula Farmers’ Market, call 330-657-2230 or go to www.heritagefarms.com.
Also slated to begin soon — June 8 — is the Richfield Farmers’ Market. It will take place Wednesdays through Oct. 12 from 3 to 6:30 p.m. at the corner of state Route 303 and 176 in Richfield. Richfield Village officials said about a dozen vendors typically participate.
In nearby Bath, the Akron General Health & Wellness Center-West, 4125 Medina Road, will offer a farmers’ market every Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m. from June 7 and through Aug. 30. According to Akron General officials, it will offer fresh high-quality produce, honey, herbs, baked goods, plants and flowers from Ohio-based farms and businesses.
In Downtown Akron, The Market at Lock 3 will operate on Fridays, July 15 through Oct. 14, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Downtown Akron Partnership organizes the market, which will take place during the Friday lunchtime concerts planned this summer. For more information, go to www.downtownakron.com.
Also beginning in July is the Cuyahoga Falls Farmers’ Market, which will run from 3 to 7 p.m. on Fridays, July 1 through Oct. 28, in the city parking lot at Second Street and Stow Avenue. For more details, visit www.cityofcf.com.
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