LOGAN – After a successful debut in 2021, Hocking County’s only Farmer’s Market returns next Saturday, May 14 for its second annual season.
Starting this month and continuing through October, the Hocking County Farmers’ Market will resume monthly in Worthington Park at 1 S. Market St. in Logan.
According to the Worthington Park historical marker, Logan founder Thomas Worthington wanted the park to be a “public market place”, the Logan Daily News reported last year.
Hocking County Farmers’ Market organizer and vendor Stacy Sater of Wildcat Hollow Lavender told the Logan Daily News on Wednesday that the farmers’ market is now a state registered farmers market and plans to welcome 15-20 vendors next weekend, selling locally produced items from fresh produce to soaps to home decor.
The goal of the Hocking County Farmers Market is to make shopping locally accessible, Sater explained.
“When we met as a group, we all talked about it, we would like it to become something where part of everyone’s weekly shopping can be done in this market,” she said. “We talked about how the world lives supply chain shortages. When you can fix that locally, buy locally and support people in your community and also have your stuff that you need for meals, you kind of ease that burden and that’s a cool thing to do.
According to united states department of agriculture, there are many reasons to shop at farmers markets; the first being “access to locally grown fresh food”; other reasons include produce harvested at the height of the growing season, supporting local food systems and local economies.
The Hocking County Farmers’ Market had a surprisingly successful first year, Sater said.
“It far exceeded anything we expected,” she explained. “We started off with a conversation like, ‘Hey, maybe let’s spend a day in the Tractor Supply parking lot where we’d all get together and sell some of our farm-related goods,’ making it a real farmer’s market. downtown.
Sater said the farmers’ market has “tremendous support” from the town of Logan, local residents as well as tourists from Hocking Hills. “We were really surprised at how well it worked.” Sater added that the biggest market took place in late summer, in July or August, with 25 vendors in attendance.
This year, the market will change slightly; rather than the hours being 8 a.m. to noon, it will start at 9 a.m. Additionally, new market dates are set for the second Saturday of each month, rather than a variable event pattern. The organizers have also set up an email address ([email protected]).
The market is also considering setting up a way to accept electronic transfer of benefits, a system that allows participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to pay for food; known as food stamps.
Sater said the market will also look at Buckeye Hills Regional Council Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programwhich provides income-eligible seniors with $50 to purchase produce from “authorized participating farmers who sell at farmers’ markets or roadside stands, May through October.”
“We want to make sure the farmers market is accessible to everyone,” Sater said. “It doesn’t matter your socio-economic status.”
The market is also exploring a token system, where instead of an ATM, people with credit cards can buy farmers market tokens for transactions with cash-only vendors.
Sater added that one of the goals of the market this summer is to provide at least one cooking demonstration using ingredients from the vendor as another way to inform, entertain the public and promote local businesses.
The Farmers’ Market is an all-volunteer effort, Sater said. Many salespeople have other jobs, some even full-time. “We sort of handle this as a group,” she said. The marketplace currently does not charge setup fees.
“It’s been great on so many levels,” Sater said of the market’s first year. “It was amazing to me, the number of people we have in our community who can contribute to something like this; they have a product to offer or they have ideas or (they) just offer to help.
Sater said the market opened his eyes to the variety of business in his community, as well as the fun of seeing downtown Logan busy on Saturday mornings.
“There were a lot of people going out and walking around downtown which was great. I think the local businesses got revenue from it, as well as great foot traffic, which is the intention,” she said.
The Hocking County Farmers’ Market will be held the second Saturday of each month; from 9 a.m. to noon. The dates for the year are May 14, June 11, July 9, August 13, September 10 and October 8. It can be found online at www.facebook.com/groups/536840570635382/. The market can be contacted by email at [email protected]