CW Farmers’ Market to open May 30 in new location

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

It may not be business as usual, but after 22 years operating a farmers’ market

Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove
Megan Bausum of Rhoads Farms in Circleville bags up some fresh produce for a customer at last year’s Canal Winchester Farmers’ Market.

in downtown Canal Winchester, Destination: Canal Winchester is facing pandemic challenges by adapting and opening the market for the season on May 30.

Held every Saturday through the end of September, the market runs from 9 a.m. to noon. For 2020, 9 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. is reserved for the at risk population—senior citizens, people with pre-existing medical conditions and individuals with a compromised immune system.

“We are fortunate that farmers’ markets have been deemed essential, but we will be making some changes to our market this year per the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s guideline,” said Executive Director Karen Stiles.

One notable change is moving the 2020 market from Stradley Place to the Canal Winchester Area Historical Society complex, which includes the Queen of the Line train depot, Prentiss School, and Chaney Mill.

“I’m excited about holding our market in this location for 2020,” said Stiles. “It is a beautiful location and it offers the space we need to adequately space our vendors’ tents out the required six feet and allow for the distancing need by our shoppers. We will be marking one entrance point and one exit point to our market. And of course, all of our vendors will be required to wear masks and to have a bottle of hand sanitizer on their tables.”

Customer numbers have grown over the past two-plus decades. Last year, the Saturday morning event averaged approximately 350 to 400 shoppers per market from all over central Ohio.

“Many come from other areas because not only do they love our vendors and the products offered, but they love our historic downtown Canal Winchester and the fantastic shops and restaurants,” said Stiles.

Vendors off a variety of goods, including locally grown fruits and vegetables and local honey, Ohio raised beef and pork and seasonings, eggs, cheese, pickled peppers and homemade baked goods, such as breads, biscotti, cupcakes, cake pops and sweet rolls.

“We also offer a variety of craft items, personal items, candles, soaps, kettle corn and house plants,” said Stiles. “All of our produce must be grown in Ohio. Our vendors will be offering only those products that are typically in season in the state of Ohio.”

Typically, strawberries and blackberries appear early in the market season, as well as asparagus. Generally, leafy vegetables, cucumbers, and garlic are offered all season long and corn is harvested in early July through August.

“Our community loves our farmers’ market and I’m sure they’re as anxious as we are to get out and about, after being ‘shut in’ for so long,” said Stiles. “Due to social distancing guidelines, this year’s market can’t be quite the same gathering place it has been in the past, but it will still be a place where people can buy wonderful local products and give a waive and a shout out to their friends.”

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