Whether you like to travel by car, bike, on foot or now—by train, there are a number of ways to make your way to the Countryside Farmers Market, held in Howe Meadow of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on Saturday mornings from 9-12:00.
This lively market, located along the Towpath Trail of the historic Erie Canal in Peninsula, boasts about 50 vendors. It is one of only a few in the country operating on federal park land and most likely the only one in the country accessible by train, as the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has made this a regular stop on its route from Rockside Road to Akron.
The 1200 people who attend the market each Saturday morning are delighted by the wonderful selection of fresh, local, seasonal fruits and vegetables, goat cheeses, grass fed beef, bison, poultry and free range eggs along with a large selection of artisan products like bread, honey, pasta and tea. There are also many vegan and gluten free products available.
Each week the market provides entertainment by local musicians, yoga classes, and cooking demonstrations at the tent located in the center of the market. There is also a canning demonstration on the first Saturday of every month. Throughout the summer there are events like the Apron Fashion Show and Pie Contest, Tomato Tasting and Salsa Smackdown and the Halloween Hullabaloo at the end October.
Beth Knorr, farm market manager, explains that the market—established in 2004–was the outgrowth of a partnership with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Countryside Initiative Program, which awards 60 leases to private farmers who have farmsteads within park boundaries. The market gave those farmers, along with other Northeast Ohio farmers an outlet for their goods and services.
Countryside also operates a market on Thursday evenings at Highland Square in Akron.
Saturday, June 15 is Edible Cleveland Day at the market! Noelle Celeste will kick off the morning by ringing the market day bell and to hand out free copies of the Summer edition hot off the presses.