Yes, 2017 technically started months ago. For a farmers' market manager though, the beginning of the outdoor market season is really the start of the new year. Much as individuals reflect on the previous year, their values, and the ways that they want to grow and improve in the coming year, I reflect on the previous market season, why Countryside and I do what we do, and how we can do it better and make more of a difference in the coming market year. Countryside's mission is to connect people, food, and land. The markets do this inherently, but this year, we want to deepen those connections. We want you, the market customer, to know more about what food is available to you at the markets (types and varieties of vegetables and fruit, cuts of meat and what to do with them, how our bakers are going beyond a mixing bowl and an oven). We want you to know your producers ~ their stories, their values, their methods ~ and understand why directly supporting them at the markets is the most impactful way to support their work. We want you to know and understand your farmers' relationships with their land and how that impacts what they bring to market to share with you.
Here are some of the exciting projects that we have lined up to make this happen:
We're finalizing details on all of those ~ expect to hear more soon!
Also, in big plans for the coming season(s) ~ CFM at Howe Meadow is transitioning to Zero Waste! We're working out the kinks in 2017, and plan to be full-on in 2018.
And of course, we are very excited to be starting the market season two weeks earlier than usual this year! All the unknowns in making that decision are playing out just right! The weather is looking good, the Meadow is looking good, the vendors are looking forward to it and have a great variety of produce and products to bring, and... you seem pretty stoked about it, too!
Here is a list of vendors scheduled to attend on Saturday; new vendors are highlighted. For a full list of vendors for the season, click here.
Akron Coffee Roasters ~ American Toy Marble Museum ~ Avant Gardens Farm & Mushroomery ~ Baker's Fresh Produce & Honey ~ Banzhaf Garten Organic Farm ~ Big Fat Greek & Italian Pastries ~ Brighton Wool & Honey ~ Brunty Farms ~ Chocolate Harmony ~ Crooked River Coffee Company ~ Curlytail Organic Farm ~ Europa Charcuterie ~ Fermentation Girl ~ Floured Apron ~ Gaelic Imports ~ Glass by Leona ~ Gray House Pies ~ Huffman Fruit Farm ~ Infinite Garden Farm ~ Ingmar Rauschert ~ Jimmy's Jam ~ Kathie McCurdy Botanical Art ~ Log Cabin Farm ~ Lucky Penny Creamery ~ Martha's Farm ~ McCoy's Custom Catering ~ miaTerra Foods ~ Miller's Olde Tyme Kettle Corn ~ MorningSide Farm ~ Ms. Julie's Kitchen ~ Mud Run Farm ~ Ohio City Pasta ~ Ohio Farm Direct ~ Ovenly Delights ~ Peter's Creek Farm ~ Pierogies of Cleveland ~ Rainbow Garden Farm ~ Red Basket Farm ~ Red Run Bison Farm ~ Rose Ridge Farm ~ Savory Snackage ~ Schmidt Family Farms ~ Seville Berry Farm ~ Sidekicks Salsa ~ Spring Wood Hand Crafts ~ Storehouse Tea ~ Tea Hills Farms ~ Thanks Marge ~ The Natural Body ~ Trigo's Market Bakery ~ Turtle Island Natural Soap Co ~ Whipple Family Farm
A brief intro to the offerings from new vendors:
And finally, here is a list of returning vendors who will be joining us just as soon as they can, tentative start dates listed:
Dillon Fruit Farm (late June or early July) ~ Gary's Granola (5/6) ~ Greenfield Berry Farm (tbd) ~ Great Lakes Baking Company (4/29) ~ Lauren's Artistic Epiphytes (4/29) ~ Little Bean Farm & Larder (5/6) ~ Native Roots (5/6) ~ Noon Sharpening (5/6) ~ Popsmith (5/6) ~ Spice Catering (5/6) ~ Vigeo Gardens (5/6)
I can't wait to see everyone ~ all of the producers and all of the customers ~ on Saturday! It's going to be a beautiful, fun, delicious day!