Reynoldsburg News

Earlier opening day planned for farmers market

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Harvest goodies will arrive a month early at the Reynoldsburg Farmers Market this year.

The market will open for the season from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 5, at Huber Park, 1520 Davidson Drive, and will be open each succeeding Thursday afternoon during those hours through Aug. 28.

Manager Kristin Hampton said the farmers market usually opens in early July and runs through September.

"The organizers last year noticed a drastic drop in attendance once school started, so we thought starting earlier was a better way to attract more people to the market," she said.

Hampton is organizing her first farmers market this year since taking over for Nadine Morse, who had been market manager since 2008.

Opening day includes a few special offerings, including entertainment by Mayor Brad McCloud, who will bring his guitar and sing at 4 p.m. June 5.

The "Pitabilities" food truck will also be on hand throughout opening day, offering pita sandwiches.

"We are hoping to have a food truck vendor each week so that people can enjoy a snack or dinner while they shop," Hampton said.

She said entertainment on some of the other Thursdays is also planned, including the musician Ruvane on June 26.

Some vegetables people are used to seeing may not be available at the market in June, but as fruits and vegetables come into season, vendors will add them, Hampton said.

"What is fun about the market is even if you see some of the same vendors, they will often not offer the same things every week," she said.

One new vendor this year is Serenity Sweets, which will be at the farmers market every other week offering gluten-free products.

Hampton said she is looking forward to opening day and a successful season.

"I am excited about seeing the gathering of the community at the market," she said. "There is such value in getting the community together on a weekly basis. It's a great chance to meet your neighbors and pick up some great produce and browse the vendor booths."

Hampton said her vendor list is a "work in progress," but this year's vendors include Great Harvest Bread, offering fresh-baked cinnamon bread, pepperoni rolls and other premium baked goods.

All baked goods are made from scratch, using no trans fats or preservatives, and the staff hand-kneads each loaf daily, according to Jim Horstman, owner of Great Harvest, which is based in Westerville.

Other vendors are JP's Chip-N-Dip Salsa, Olde Village Meats, Parson's Family Farm, Persinger Farms, Roger's Honey, Wishwell Farms, Black-Thai Farm, Bought-A-Bean, Cherry Farm, Darby Creek Beef, Eristen Brothers Maple Products and Fruit Strength Farm.

Hampton said updates about entertainment and other news will be featured on the market's Facebook page and on the city's website at ci.reynoldsburg.oh.us.

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