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“A Morning at the Farmers’ Market”

“What makes the farmers market such a special place is that you’re actually creating community around food.” – Bryant Terry

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My wife and I went on a date to the Geauga Fresh Farmers Market Farm to Table Event which was held on March 18 at Lowe’s Greenhouse in Bainbridge. It was the last day of the winter market season and we were looking forward to attending.

As we walked through Lowe’s we were met by a sign that pointed the way for us. It listed some of the items that would be on display and for sale. The first booth we stopped at was Gray Duck Coffee. They had samples of their coffee to try. They are a small batch roaster with coffee from different specific regions and one blend. The aroma and flavor profiles were enjoyable.
As we walked down the aisle we came to the Goodie Basket. We tried some of Dee’s homemade jams. Man, were they good. The Sour Cherry Jam was like taking a bite out of a good cherry pie. Then there were fresh samples from Minus G. They make and sell gluten free baking mixes.

Woolf Farms was across the aisle and had apples and cider to sample and purchase. The cider is made from a blend of apples and tastes real good. Aurora Springs Honey, which is located on Chillicothe Road in Aurora, was next, with samples of their honey to try. Who doesn’t like honey?

There was a sauce for burgers from Carhops and homemade candied jalapeno peppers (Nina’s Kitchen). Those peppers were sweet and hot. While my wife was talking about raising chickens at the Harvest Bell display, I sampled a Zucchini Bake casserole and kept walking, talking and sampling.

I spent some time talking with Peter and Lisa from Sandee River Farms. They were selling a large variety of salad greens and fresh and dried herbs. Right around the corner from them was Fred Hot and his hand crafted sauces and pickled foods. Fred Hot wears a colorful wig and he is a true character. His business card says, “Caution: may burn twice!!!” He had me cracking up!
Montana Girl mustard was next on my walk. By that time my wife caught up with me. They use a family recipe with all natural ingredients and no fillers. We stopped at Sirna’s Farm and Market display, talked a little and sampled a very good frittata. They are located on Route 44 in Auburn Township.

The Geauga Fresh Farmers’ Market display caught our attention and we entered their contest. Since this was the last day of the winter market we wondered when and where the market would open up again.

The summer season starts on May 6 from 9am – noon at the South Russell Village Hall parking lot. Their website is www.geaugafarmersmarket.com. You can find a link to each of the vendors there.
We ended up at the A2Z Living Well Solutions table talking with Cat. She took items from the market and made a fruit smoothie and a micro greens salad with a maple syrup and mustard vinaigrette. Both of them were very good. Cat and her helper like to take what is available at the market and make dishes for people to sample. She took a tray of food around to share with other vendors.
We ended up buying a bag of Kenyan Peaberry coffee, apples and cider, sour cherry jam, salad greens, sunflower shoots, mustard, and cookies. Oh, I almost forgot — we got turnips, radicchio and assorted greens from Bat Barn Farm too. All in all it was a good date, and we came home with locally grown or made foods to enjoy later. We were glad we participated!

There is a sense of community and teamwork among the vendors as they have gotten to know one another and work together. They extend this sense of community to shoppers as well. There is a good feeling here and it’s worth taking the time to shop the local farmers’ markets throughout the year. As you do you’ll be helping local small businesses and maybe make some new friends at the same time while enjoying some very good food.

For the sake of full disclosure; as we were driving away my wife got a phone call letting her know she had won a contest. We weren’t too far away so we turned around and headed back so she could get her prize. I’d say it was well worth the trip and we look forward to our next visit to the farmers’ market.