The Upper Arlington farmers market celebrated its "Peak of the Pick" on Aug. 15, but shoppers have another month to find locally grown produce and meats, artisan drinks and more.

Customers walked up and down the parking lot at the Upper Arlington Senior Center, 1945 Ridgeview Road, Aug. 15, looking for market deals and the freshest offerings of fruits, vegetables, meats and more.

The UA farmers market is held from 3 to 6 p.m. each Wednesday in the Senior Center parking lot. Last week's Peak of the Pick signaled the expected high point of the growing season for the market's roughly 14 to 18 vendors.

"I think it's just a treat to get to come here," said Sandy McKissick, an Upper Arlington resident shopping at the market. "I come every week. I love it. It's nice to see new vendors come, and there's some really good people who've been here each week, too."

Upper Arlington's annual farmers market will continue through Sept. 26. It's designated as an "Ohio Proud" event, meaning all vendors are from the Buckeye State and their produce is locally grown.

Their offerings vary throughout the growing season, but typically, visitors can choose from freshly picked vegetables and fruits, as well as baked goods, artisan bread, grass-fed beef, kettle corn, lemonade shake-ups, pies, cookies and flowers.

Kevin Beavers, a fourth-generation farmer who operates Darby Creek Beef in Orient, was selling beef produced from cattle he raises, as well as pork chops, bacon and beef jerky.

He said this is the fifth year he's participated in the Upper Arlington farmers market, and it's a good fit for him because it takes place during the middle of the week.

"It's one of four markets I do every other week," Beavers said. "The cattle are my cattle, and I do not use any growth hormones or steroids. I like that. I raise cattle the way my dad and grandpa did."

Another vendor was Hebron-based Midway Concessions, which sells fresh-popped kettle popcorn and fresh-squeezed lemon shake-ups.

"We do a lot of markets and they needed a drink vendor here," said Wendie Mitchell, Midway Concessions' owner. "We were able to fill a niche."

As shoppers perused stands and local artist Ryan Smith played guitar and sang cover songs, Linda Sanford stood by selling garlic, vegetables and flowers from her From My Garden stand.

The Marysville farmer has been a vendor at the UA market for 19 years, including the initial years in which the event was held at The Mallway.

Sanford said she's been farming for 30 years. She encouraged people to come out for the remainder of the season because of the special opportunities the market provides shoppers.

She said the market helps farmers like her whose livelihoods depend on a variety of factors, including the weather.

"Enjoy the fresh while it's here because you'll eventually have to go to the grocery for stock," Sanford said. "And support all the farmers because it's been a tough, rainy season."

Mac Kinney, recreation program assistant, said organizers were pleased with the Peak of the Pick turnout.

The farmers market continues to be a popular event for the community.

He noted there were food trucks selling ice cream and tacos brought in for the Peak of the Pick event, along with a face painter for children.

Like Sanford, Kinney said shoppers should take the opportunity over the next month to visit the market, because its fresh offerings soon will be gone.

"We go until Sept. 26," Kinney said. "It's from 3 to 6 (p.m.) on Wednesdays, every Wednesday.

"Get out here, come on out and enjoy some fresh local produce."

nellis@thisweeknews.com

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