Small farmers markets are a vital part of localizing the food system. In an effort to increase the availability of local food, the OARDC has recently established a farmers market on its campus. The market is sponsored by the Agroecosystems Management Program and is held on Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m. through October 21st. An editorial in the June 7 edition of The Daily Record praised the OARDC for its accomplishments in the field of agricultural research and for its valuable addition to the field of local farmers markets.
The addition of the market makes it one among several in the Northeast Ohio area. It shares the city of Wooster with the Wooster Downtown Farmers Market in the public square on Main Street Wooster. The market has run from June to October on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon for a number of successful seasons. Local markets nearby also include the Wooster Farmers Market at the Wooster Community Center and the Orrville Farmers Market on Depot Street.
Farmers markets also contribute to the effort to involve youth in agriculture. An example of this is the Metro High School Farmers Market. This Farmers Market is unique because it is almost completely run by students and immerses them in the issues of food production, harvesting, and distributing. Metro High School Farmers Market is a product of the Growing America K-16 Program and The Ohio State University. This Farmers Market gives students a better understanding of where food comes from and makes them aware of the career opportunities in agricultural fields. The Metro High School Farmers Market is every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., from July 25th to August 15th on the corner of Kenny and Kinnear in Columbus, Ohio (http://e5386b4442894bcbfb66fa91afd309e9dd13a606.gripelements.com/documents/metro_high_school_farmers_market_one_sheet.pdf ).
All in all, farmers markets play a significant role in the localizing of the food system, involving youth in agriculture, and creating new jobs. The importance of farmers markets has been recognized as farmers markets have increased nationwide by 7% from 2006 to 2008, according to the USDA Agricultural Census of 2008. Farmers markets give consumers the option to purchase local produce in season. In addition, the produce found in farmers markets is often the freshest and healthiest around.
For more information about farmer’s markets in Northeast Ohio, visit www.thefarmlandcenter.org/farmersmarkets-NEOH.htm , www.cleveland.com/pdgraphics/index.ssf/2009/05/download-file.html or www.cvcountryside.org/Website/Local FoodWorks/pdfs/Farm List.pdf.
Matheus De Nardo