Nothing gets me more excited about the Spring and Summertime than farmers’ markets. Saturday was the opening season of Countryside Conservancy’s Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow. This was the first time I stopped by this location and it had quite the variety.
Countryside Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that was created “to connect people, food, and land by increasing public awareness of how food and farming impact personal, community, and environmental health, and by inspiring personal commitment to building a resilient, sustainable food culture.” They have a partnership with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park as well as other local organizations like Let’s Grow Akron.
All of the vendors are small businesses (producer-only) and many of them have farms in the area. I ended up picking up quite a few items like leeks, eggs, apples, honey, and asparagus. There’s even jam, locally roasted coffee (Akron Coffee Roasters), and meat. This farmers’ market will be going on every Saturday from 9am to noon at Howe Meadow until the end of October. They will be kicking off the Highland Square location every Thursday from 4pm to 7pm May 18th through mid-September.
I believe my favorite part about these markets is the fact that it’s not cash-only. They accept credit cards (purchase tokens) as well as the Ohio Direction Card. They offer a dollar-for-dollar incentive for SNAP customers called “Carrot Cash.” With over 75,000 people in Summit County (March 2017) using some kind of food assistance, this incentive is a great way to reach those who truly need more access to fresh food. We’re living in a time of chronic illnesses and I truly believe that some of it is stemming from what we are putting into our bodies. Over the last few decades, processed foods have increased and for the first time ever our life expectancy in the U.S. has begun to decline (not by much, but still…).
I’d implore you to check these farmers’ markets out and support local small businesses. The closer you get to your food source, the more knowledgeable and (hopefully) healthier you become.
Thanks for reading,