A weekly farmers market is coming to Gahanna in June at the Veterans Memorial Park, 75 W. Johnstown Road.
Thanks to Make Gahanna Yours, a nonprofit organization operated by volunteers, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and dairy products are expected to be offered for purchase from 4 to 7 p.m. every Sunday from June 2 through Sept. 29. The only exception will be June 16, during the Creekside Jazz and Blues Festival.
"Our mission is to provide an outlet for fresh and healthy food for the Gahanna community as well as visitors to the neighborhood," said Becky Kneeland, president of Make Gahanna Yours and market manager. "Our overarching goals are to support local farmers, address the food access needs of the community and to create a space for community interaction."
She said the market is looking for producers, crafters, musicians and sponsors.
Potential vendors can fill out an application at makegahannayours.com/farmersmarket.
For commitment to the market this inaugural year, Make Gahanna Yours will refund $30 of the $200 rate at the end of the season if a vendor participates in 14 of the 17 markets, Kneeland said.
"The market encourages, supports and promotes the entrepreneurial efforts of local, independent and small-scale farmers and artisans seeking to sell their products directly to consumers," she said. "We consider our marketplace an incubator for small business and therefore, do not consider corporately-owned businesses or businesses with storefronts to be a fit for our market."
Kneeland said farmers may sell only what they have grown and producers may sell only what they have made.
In addition, all produce must be grown in Ohio.
"Produce cannot be purchased at a wholesale terminal and resold at our market," Kneeland said.
She said the market also would feature cut flowers, honey, jams and jellies, homemade biscotti, knife sharpening and handmade artisan merchandise.
To celebrate the peak of the growing season, a Cream of the Crop celebration will be held Aug. 11, which concludes National Farmers Market Week.
That market will feature expanded activities, demonstrations and samples of produce from the market as well as fun for children, according to Kneeland.
She's hoping live music will be performed during the market and buskers, musicians who will play for tips, are being sought.
Anyone interested should sign up at makegahannayours.com/music-venue-sign-up/.
"A lot of work has gone into this and we hope our community will support our local farmers and producers and eat healthier in the process," Kneeland said.
Gahanna Mayor Tom Kneeland said Gahanna used to have a farmers market several years ago, at Creekside Plaza.
"Vendors have said that it was difficult getting set up on the plaza each week," he said. "The (new) market is planned to be held on the property between the Veterans Memorial Park and the VFW building. There is a lot of room there and traffic shouldn't be a problem."
Tom Kneeland said the Make Gahanna Yours Farmers Market looks like it will be a big success based on several surveys by the group that included asking if people would support a market on Sunday afternoons.
"I know that there is a lot of planning that is going into this event in hopes that it will be a sustainable event for years to come," he said. "We've found that there presently are no other markets on Sundays, which has had a really good reaction from some vendors."
Kneeland said the nice thing about having the market on Sunday is that it allows families to get what they need for the coming week.
Kelly Kiener, assistant administrator in Jefferson Township, said the township had a long run with a farmers market, but it ended a few years ago.