Upper Arlington Farmers Market opens the season May 18 with high expectations

The Upper Arlington Farmers’ Market returns May 18 and plans to feature nearly 30 vendors each week.

After rain chilled most of the first 10 weeks of the 2021 season, Michelle White thought the market had only just hit its stride in its final two months.

Now entering her fourth year of running the market, White, executive director of Common Greens, hopes to keep the momentum going. Average attendance has fallen from 395 per week in 2019 to around 500 the past two seasons.

“I hope people are excited to come back this year,” White said. “We have a number of returning vendors, and then we have five new vendors lined up this year.”

The market will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays until October 26. It will again be held in the Tremont Pool parking lot at 2850 Tremont Road.

“Last year, I think we had 24 vendor locations, plus our food truck,” White said. “This year, on average, we will probably have 27 vendors, plus a rotating food truck.

“We also have a full line-up of musicians performing weekly.”

Information about vendor and artist lineups will be posted weekly on commongreensohio.org/upper-arlington-farmers-market.

Among the additions to the market will be Messenger Breads, which will offer international fresh baked goods and is operated from the Wickliffe Road home of Vlad and Lexi Sharkov.

“My husband is from Russia and my family has Italian ancestry, so Messenger Breads was born out of our two households coming together and a shared love for foods and flavors from around the world,” said Lexi Sharkov. “We share our family recipes with each other, but we also love learning about foods from other places and their meaning in those cultures. I played around with merging flavors and adding some twists.

“At the Farmer’s Market, we plan to have Russian black bread, different kinds of babkas – a sweet bread that has its roots in Jewish communities in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, etc. – croissants, bread with Japanese milk, biscotti, etc. We love the farmers market and I can’t wait to attend this year.”

Another addition will be Oat Milk, a fresh oat milk brand from Columbus that operates out of a food kitchen at 1400 Dublin Road, Hilliard. They offer oat milk made in small batches each week and source as locally as possible to ensure their oat milks are made with high quality, regional and seasonal ingredients.

The company also uses organic Ohio oats and freshly squeezed Ohio maple syrup.

After attending weekend farmers’ markets in Clintonville and the North Market in Columbus, the owners decided to test Upper Arlington’s midweek market.

“For people who can’t travel on weekends, we like to do outreach in the middle of the week,” said Andrea Geist, co-owner of Oat Milk. “We love Upper Arlington as a community, and we just wanted to expand our reach outside of downtown and other neighborhoods in Columbus.

“It’s a great opportunity to meet new faces and introduce them to our products.”

In addition to weekly offers, the market will once again accept the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Electronic Pandemic Benefit Transfer Program, and Farmers Market Nutrition Program coupons for women, infants, and children. and will provide $1 for $1 for each person these coupon holders make, up to $25.

In September, the market will partner with Heart to Heart Food Pantry at First Community Church, 1944 W. First Ave., Columbus, to solicit donations for the food pantry.

“September is National Hunger Action Month,” White said. “Heart to Heart Food Pantry will be on site, and we’ll be encouraging shoppers to purchase more to donate to those in need.”

White, who has been involved with farmers’ markets for more than a decade, said she looks forward to a full season without COVID-19 restrictions.

“I love the community aspect of farmers markets,” White said. “Giving the community this resource is quite powerful and keeps me going.

“I think the list of sellers in this market is very exciting, and I look forward to a new season.”

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James V. Payne