The Alliance Farmers' Market is about to start up again, and there are a couple of new features that will make this an even better season for the community.
First, a new Kid's Corner will debut on June 16, the first Saturday of the market, and it will offer free activities for kids of all ages, planned by local artists Carole Swope and Priscilla Roggenkamp. Come to the corner this Saturday and paint a clay flowerpot with your child, and then plant a flower in it to take home. On July 21, kids will be able to try their hand at weaving, they'll go on a scavenger hunt at the market on Aug. 18, and they can decorate a pumpkin to take home for the holidays on Oct. 13. Other weekly activities are still being decided.
Secondly, and possibly more importantly, there will be two new seasonal vendors at the market. Creekview Ridge Farm, located on 17 acres on Magnet Road in Minerva, is owned by Kip Gardner and his wife. Laura McAllister, farm manager, reported they are working toward organic certification and are planting an acre of vegetables this year, in addition to raspberries and blackberries. Julie Martin will bring Julie Ann's Baked Goods and Produce to the public this season. The Alliance native loves to bake, and will bring along her favorite recipes. Her husband, Jim, takes care of the produce, and they are looking forward to their first year at the market, according to Farmers' Market secretary Ginny Daniel.
The new Rodman Public Library bookmobile will also be at the market every other week, starting the first week the market opens and continuing through the end of August.
A new on-site manager, Amy Holtzman, who grew up in Berlin Center and currently lives in a log cabin with her husband in Lexington Township the couple built themselves, also plan to grow vegetables on their farm and bring them to the market. "My curiosity about the produce business led me to volunteer with the Farmers' Market last summer. I enjoyed the market so much, I was thrilled when they asked me to be the manager. The market is an invaluable community resource, and I wouldn't want to miss out on the great local foods," said Holtzman.
The market will welcome its regular vendors, offering a range of locally grown produce, honey, wax candles and other products. And it will again have live music, demonstrations and community tables, which will change each week.
The Alliance Farmers' Market encourages EBT (Ohio Direction Card) customers to shop at the venue on Saturdays. They can scan their cards at the temporary "office" at the north end of the caboose and then use tokens at the market to shop for their favorite foods. Some of the vendors are also qualified to accept Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program vouchers and WIC coupons, when they become available.
The Farmers' Market runs from 9 a.m. to noon each Saturday, June 16 through Oct. 13, in the parking lot in front of the red caboose at Main Street and Mechanic Avenue in downtown Alliance. Watch The Review for further details, or visit alliancefarmersmarket.com.
The Farmers' Market is sponsored by the University of Mount Union, Alliance Community Hospital, The Alliance Review and WDPN 1310 AM Radio.