PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — If you’re into fresh produce — and who isn’t? — this weekend’s Farmer’s Market might be a great place to stop from 9 a.m. until noon on the Roy Rogers Esplanade.
The Farmer’s Market is sponsored by Main Street Portsmouth.
“If someone is interested in becoming a vendor, they can just come the day of the Farmer’s Market and they’ll fill out a registration form,” explained Farmer’s Market Manager Alex Scott, “The first set-up is free for new vendors so they can get a taste of what it’s like. They can pay the fee of $10 for the day, or pre-pay for half the season at $90 or pay the full-season fee at $155.”
Scott was hired under Main Street Portsmouth’s Executive Director Joseph Pratt to manage the Farmer’s Market and expand the program.
“I am very excited to be apart of the Farmer’s Market, and it gives me great joy to become more involved with the Boneyfiddle community,” said Scott.
Scott is a student at Shawnee State University and is involved in many aspects of the community.
“We decided to hire a college student because we wanted someone young and energetic to help drive college students and younger people downtown and to the Farmer’s Market, Alex has grabbed the ball and she’s been doing a great job with it ever since she started,” said Pratt.
Vendors will be set up with veggies like kale, mustard greens, broccoli, half runner green beans and stringless green beans, beets, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, sweet onions, tomatoes, and corn.
There will also be a variety of fruits available, now being the time to get your apples and blackberries.
While you’re there you can pick up a few pounds of local grain-fed and local grass-fed beef. They also carry local pork, chicken, and goat meat.
In addition to the produce the Farmer’s Market features varieties of jams and jellies, sauces, dips, seasonings and soup mix.
There will also be local and cottage-made goods like, handmade herbal soaps and goat milk soaps, sugar scrubs, lotions and miscellaneous craft items.
“Every year we expand to make it more inclusive for all the facets of healthy-living,” Pratt said, “in years previous, we started a program called Healthy Bucks in conjunction with the Scioto County Health Coalition and we’ll be continuing with that this year.”
The Healthy Bucks program provides children and adults with educational opportunities as a way to learn about healthy choices. As an incentive, they are giving a $5 certificate to use at any of the vendors. SNAP/EBT benefits are also accepted.
“The vendors love the Healthy Bucks program, it brings the kids in and gets them learning about the importance of healthy food and local business,” said Pratt.
This year, the program will be expanding and providing new educational experiences for visitors.
“We’re working with a vendor who owns a food truck, he plans to purchase produce from the vendors who will be set up at the Farmer’s Market. Then he will be using those ingredients to make meals and teaching people ways to prepare and serve vegetables. You’re literally getting the freshest food you can,” said Pratt.
“It’s exciting because a family can come down, buy their groceries for the week, and the kids can have a fun time using the Healthy Bucks to pick out what they like. Before they leave, they can grab lunch from our food truck vendor and know that it’s all local and made fresh.”
The Farmer’s Market will be held every Saturday starting May 21 through Mid-October.
If you’re interested in becoming a vendor or have any questions about the Farmer’s Market, please contact Farmer’s Market Manager Alex Scott at 740-727-4737.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext 1932, via Twitter @PDT_Ciara or via Facebook ‘Ciara Conley - Daily Times’