Gahanna residents will soon be able to purchase home-grown produce, jellies, honey, baked goods, meats and fresh cut flowers, thanks to a new farmers market that makes its season debut June 2.
Make Gahanna Yours, a nonprofit organization, is presenting the new market 4-7 p.m. every Sunday at the Veterans Memorial Park, 75 W. Johnstown Road, with the exception of June 16 during the Creekside Jazz and Blues Festival.
"The farmers market is really shaping up," said Becky Kneeland, president of Make Gahanna Yours and market manager. "I have been attending Ohio Farmers Market Network meetings for over a year and they told me that for a new market 10 vendors would be a good start and 15 would be great."
Gahanna's market already had 15 vendors committed a month before its debut.
"We are also going to have weekly musicians (Turnip the Beet), a Little Seedlings Club (Growing Healthy Kids), weekly recipes, and food preparation and nutrition demonstrations," Kneeland said.
According to Gahanna Mayor Tom Kneeland, there was a farmers market several years ago at Creekside Plaza.
Cathy Krist, of Carousel Watergardens Farm in Marion, said she participated in the market previously held at Creekside.
"We hoped they would bring it back," she said. "The farm market was well received. We look forward to seeing old customers and gaining new ones."
Krist said Carousel carries a variety of produce including hot peppers, carrots, beets, summer squash, as well as a variety of tomatoes. They also sell honey, maple syrup, jams and jellies.
Vendor Sue Rupp of Sue's Herbs & Jellies makes all her own jams, jellies, chutneys, fruit butters and herb mixes.
"I make unique and not your normal jellies," she said.
Varieties include Merlot Blackberry Jam, Sangria Wine Jelly as well as Pina Colada Jam and Strawberry Margarita Jam.
"All jams and jellies cooked with alcohol leaves the flavor but boils out the alcohol," Rupp said. "I do apple, pear and peach butter as well as several different chutneys. I bring samples each week so people can taste it before they buy it."
She and her husband, Dave, have lived in Morrow County near Fredericktown since 1989. He graduated from Gahanna Lincoln High School in 1967.
"Dave was born and raised in Gahanna and we lived there after we were married," Rupp said. "My husband's great-great-grandfather built the log house that is in the Gahanna Historical Village. He shows the house for the third-grade tours in May."
When Rupp heard about Gahanna bringing back a farm market, she said, they decided to add it to their list of weekly summer markets.
John and Susan Harder of Laughing Frog Farm in Newark will bring heirloom crops to Gahanna's market as well as fresh herbs and summer produce.
"We also make homemade lotions, soaps, jams, jellies and baked goods," she said. "We love the Gahanna area and felt it would be a great fit with the products we offer."
Harder said she's certain they will bring kale, chard, collards, flowering broccoli, squash and herbs for the first few markets.
She said they also have microgreens that are plants harvested when they have two true leaves, grown just past the sprout stage.
"They're extremely nutritious and a very popular health food," Harder said.
Other vendors participating in Gahanna's market include:
* Huckleberry Homestead of Fredericktown,producing home-baked goods including pies, breads and cakes from fresh, high quality ingredients.
* Watson's Acres Flower Farm of Sunbury, a family-owned flower and lavender farm producing fresh-cut flowers, fresh and dried lavender, and lavender products.
* Twin Oak Farms of Perrysville, a family farm, providing roasts, ground-chuck patties, stew meat, short ribs, flank steaks, brisket, all-beef hot dogs and beef snack sticks.
* B'Scotti of Blacklick, baking Italian biscotti in a variety of flavors from the home. Each batch is individually wrapped and labeled in accordance with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
* Ingram Acres of Canal Winchester, a small family-run farm focusing on produce, heirloom jade plants and aloes, specialty granolas made with local ingredients and handmade gifts.
* Mayhem Foods of Columbus, an artisan food producer of salsa, mustards, seasonings and snack mixes using local ingredients when available.
* Waffle Hub LLC of Hilliard, producing authentic Liege Waffles that are made to be eaten as is (they do not need to be heated).
* Florentine Legacy of Columbus, offering marinara, primavera and tomato cream pasta sauces and house Italian dressing.
* The Finest Edge of Columbus, a family-owned mobile sharpening business that specializes in knives (kitchen, hunting, fishing), gardening tools, scissors and lawnmower blades. They also sell knives, scissors shears and other cutlery.
* Ohio City Pasta of Columbus, offering hand-crafted in small batches, fresh pasta, ravioli, pasta sauce and gnocchi.
* That Mushroom Guy of Columbus, providing seven varieties of gourmet mushrooms at peak freshness.
* Ohio Herb Center of Gahanna, offering products that feature the use of herbs for, but not limited to, culinary, decorative, garden, medicinal and home applications.