Friday, June 24, 2011

Bexley Farmer’s Market Moves Time and Place

Last night, I rolled my bike over to the new Bexley Farmer’s Market, which is now on Thursdays from 4 until 7 p.m. in the roomy parking lot where Parkview dead-ends into Main Street. (It used to be on Saturday mornings on cramped sidewalks in front of City Hall). This is just ¾ miles south east of the SACG.

To start, G Michaels was offering sautéed ocean scallops over a ragout of applewood smoked bacon, corn and peppers. FOR FREE. It was advertised as a cooking demonstration, but we all got samples. The restaurant owners/chefs live in Bexley and wanted to support the Farmer’s Market with a popular incentive. They don’t come every week, but rumor has it that other restaurants have offered similar incentives in the past. The picture shows where the restaurant stand was – after he tore down the cooking table (because I forgot my camera on my first trip). Next week, the Broad Street Presbyterian Church will be promoting its food pantry.

We were all blessed with our first dry Thursday in a while. A volunteer also handed out cloth tote bags (with the new hours and location of the Farmer’s Market prominently displayed). The bags were paid for by a sponsor (listed on the other side of the bag) and no tax dollars were used:) There were also free copies of edible Columbus, with recipes and stories about local farmer’s markets and even the Franklinton Community Garden.

Brent Rhoads from the Rhoads family farm south of Circleville was there with their family farm stand. There was an article about their family farm in edible Columbus. The family has farmed for 40 years, supports 4 families and 25 seasonal workers. We chatted for a few minutes. They had bok choy ($2/bunch), zucchini and lettuce and red raspberries for sale this week and will add corn, blueberries and blackberries next week. We talked about the SACG’s black raspberries and he warned me to keep them away from red raspberry bushes because they tend to infect each other with viruses. I assured him that I keep my red raspberry bushes in my backyard.

There were two other produce sellers (with slightly different offerings). The cookie lady was sold out by the time I got there at 6 p.m. The bread bakers were almost sold out. The cheese folks had at least 10 different kinds of cheeses to sample (at $6/block). Unfortunately, the most popular – chive and onion – was sold out – as were a few other popular blends. There was a butcher there. I sampled chicken sausage for the first time ($6/pound – four links). There was also a flower farm represented. There was also a jam lady with strawberry champagne, strawberry pepper and a few other flavors I should try sometime.

Of course, it was at the Bexley Farmer’s Market that I discovered the peaches from Legend Hills Orchard. But there was no one there last night from LHO. I was surprised not to see any strawberries.

There were lots of kids, bikes and dogs – Bexley staples. I passed a few lemonade stands on my way there. Perhaps they would have been better placed at the Market . . . . . There was not, however, a compost bin to collect paper plates or half-eaten produce for the Bexley Community Garden . . . .

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