Farmers’ market season is almost here

| April 8, 2015

COSHOCTON – Fresh crunchy lettuce, juicy tomatoes, sweet strawberries and other fresh produce will soon be coming your way thanks to our three local farmers markets.

“From savoring produce at the peak of freshness to meeting the people who grow your food, the fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmers market are the freshest and tastiest available,” said Gary Kilpatrick, who is in charge of Coshocton and Warsaw’s markets. “Fruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you – no long distance shipping – no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage. The food is as real as it gets – fresh from the farm.”

Julia Brown, who helps run the Fresno Farmers Market, agrees with Kilpatrick.

“What you buy at the farmers market was either picked that morning or the night before,” she said. “By shopping at the markets you also are supporting hometown agriculture and local farmers. The benefits far out way shopping at a store.”

Coshocton’s market will be from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturdays, May 2 through Oct. 31, in the 300 block of Main Street, Fresno’s is 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays, May 2 through Oct. 31, at Mark McCoy’s Auto and Warsaw’s is from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays, May 7 through Sept. 17 at River View Community Park.

“The food you buy at the farmers markets is seasonal,” Kilpatrick said. “It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavors. More and more families have allergies and they are trying to eliminate preservatives in their food so this is the way to go.”

Gardening is a hobby of his and he enjoys sharing the fruits of his labor with others.

“There is nothing like fresh vegetables from the garden and their nutritional value is much greater,” Kilpatrick said. “There are no preservatives, no fillers or by products, just naturally grown food from your own backyard. We’re allowing them to be in Mother Nature and produce the way they are supposed to.”

New vendors are always welcome at the markets. Vendor fees for the Coshocton market are $80 for the season or $10 per day and Warsaw’s is $5 per day ($25 total) or $25 for the entire season. Fresno’s fee is a donation.

“We pass a pickle jar around at 11:30 a.m. or so and if you’ve sold and made something you just put in what you are able to contribute,” Brown said. “If you didn’t sell anything then we will just catch you next time. You aren’t obligated to come every Saturday either and there is no contract. We are always welcoming new vendors as long as what they are bringing is homemade or homegrown. Come give being a vendor a try and don’t be afraid you don’t have enough, aren’t big enough or haven’t done this before. Just bring a table, chair and make sure your product is clearly marked. It won’t cost you anymore than your time and effort.”

Brown noted that baked goods also need to have their ingredients listed from largest to smallest, along with weight and the baker’s name and address.

“A successful stand at a farmers market can be a really excellent way to generate income and introduce people to new products,” Kilpatrick said.

They also are a great place to meet new people.

“We have a lot of loyal customers that look forward to it every Saturday,” Julia said. “I’ve met so many people and made new friends that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet. It’s a great community event for the little town of Fresno.”

Kilpatrick says farmers markets also are a great place for sharing gardening tips

“A lot of the vendors are older and more than willing to share their wisdom,” he said. “The food is grown by knowledgeable hands and that shows. The garden is weeded, tended and talked too.”

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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