Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Farmers Market

It is that glorious time of the year again when local fields come alive with edible local delights. Yes we struggled through hot house tomatoes, asparagus from Peru, and corn from god only knows where, but once again our window of opportunity has opened. The Cleveland Plain Dealer today examined the supply and demand game between local farms and their cousin the farmers market. With chain grocery store prices soaring an even larger section of people will be at the market in search of reasonably priced fresh produce. Tie this growing customer base with the emergence of two competing local produce distributers, Fresh Fork, and Syco. This summers markets could prove to be quite volatile.

In any case, I'm sure you are like me and just want to get out there to the closest farmers market as soon as possible, get some fresh produce, and survey the situation first hand. The PD also put together this seemingly complete list of markets, you can view it here. I can tell you this much about the following 3:

In the past I've regularly visited the Lakewood farmers market due to how close it is to my home. It is a mid-week market with a solid 6-8 produce farms, plants, honey, and bread available every week. It's likely to not be very crowded with ample parking.

Kamms Corners farmers market is on Sunday, which is very unique. They attracted a short list of farms that looked very different from the Lakewood make-up. The Kamms market includes a chef demo, a mobile kitchen serving hot food, and musical entertainment. This market seemed rather crowded for it's size, but they do offer more of an experience for a Sunday afternoon.

Lastly, I've been to the Westlake/Crocker Park farmers market. This is by far the largest market I've been to on the west side. There are 20 plus produce farms, along with everything from soap to popcorn. The crowd does grow by noon on Saturday, and parking isn't nearly as easy as the other two, but this is a one stop situation. Whatever you need that isn't at the market can be found at Trader Joes a stones throw away.


Sonsfan said...

I'll be attending the weekly Lakewood markets this summer, as I joined a CSA that distributes there. It'll be my first exposure to the Lakewood market.
I've been to Crocker Park several times already this season. The lettuce and asparagus have both been fantastic. I've also bought some of the soap you mentioned. Strawberries will be here soon too.

rockandroller said...

I love the Crocker market and try to visit there every other week (WSM on the other weekends). A few of the Amish vendors there do have greenhouses so I get more of a variety than what is truly "in season," but I did pretty well this winter staying away from the ridiculous and trucked from god-knows-where - no bananas, no tomatoes, increased consumption of root veggies, apples, and relied on frozen or canned to supplement. It's just not worth throwing away the $ for "winter" tomatoes.

Sonsfan said...

Strawberries and zucchini this past weekend. The bounty gets better week after week...