By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager
Summit County has 15 places for farmers markets that will be taking place throughout summer 2013! So… what does that mean to you? Here are some frequently asked questions AND answers for you on Farmers Markets! Oh… and don’t forget to check out the listing of some of the Farmers Markets in Summit County at the bottom of the post.
What is a Farmers Market? A farmers market is a public and recurring assembly of farmers or their representatives, selling directly to consumers food which they have produced themselves. More specifically, a farmers market operates multiple times per year and is organized for the purpose of facilitating personal connections that create mutual benefits for local farmers, shoppers, and communities. The number of farmers markets in the United States has steadily grown to more than 7,500 registered with the USDA Farmers Market Directory in 2012.
How do Farmers Markets decide what to carry? What is at market depends on a combination of location, season, and market rules about what can be sold. Many farmers markets only carry locally-grown, locally-made and/or locally-processed, foods, and create a system of guidelines that ensure vendors are producing what they are selling. Others have more flexible policies. The great thing about farmers markets is that if you are ever unsure about what a product is, where it came from, or how it was grown, you can just ask!
Why should I shop at a Farmers Market when my supermarket sells organic, and even local food? While some food retailers do carry local and organic products, not all of them can carry a variety of local foods, or ensure a fair price to the farmer. Shopping at a farmers market is a wholly unique experience that benefits farmers and producers directly (they go home with a greater share of the retail price than they would by selling wholesale, where the margins are, well, just that– marginal), offering you more unique products, more heirloom varieties, and more opportunities to build relationships and learn about healthy eating. Farmers markets are a community experience, where you can meet your neighbors, friends, and farmers, and where more of your dollar will stay in the community.
Some Farmers Markets Near You:
- Akron–Countryside Farmers Market in Highland Square, West market Street and Conger Avenue, 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays from May 30- October 3.
- Akron–Market at Lock 3, Lock 3 Park, South Main Street downtown. 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Fridays from July 19 to September 27.
- Bath Township–Akron General Health and Wellness Center-West, 4125 Medina Road. 3-6 p.m. on Tuesdays, June 18-September 24.
- Copley–Copley Creekside Farmers Market, 1245 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Copley. 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, May 30-October 24.
- Cuyahoga Falls–Falls Farmers Market, Quirk Cultural Center, 1201 Grant Ave., 2-5:30 p.m. on Friday’s, June 14-October 4.
- Green–City of Green Farmers Market, grassy lot adjacent to the Central Administration Building, 1755 Town Park Blvd. 3 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday’s, June 18-October 8.
- Hudson–Hudson Farmers Market, Village Green at state Routes 91 and 303. 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Saturday’s, June 8- September 28.
- Macedonia–City of Macedonia Parks and Recreation Department Summer Farmers Market, Memorial Park, intersection of state Route 82 and South Bedford Road. 3 to 6 p.m., Tuesday’s, June 25- September 10.
- Stow–Stow Community Farmers Market, Stow Community United Church of Christ, 1567 Pilgirm Drive. 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays, June 8 to October 5.
- Tallmadge–Tallmadge Farmers Market, Tallmadge Recreation Center parking lot, 46 N. Munroe Road. 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday’s, June 13- October 17.