Chill Out at a Winter Farmers Market

WinterMarketsToday heralded the start of a brand new winter market in Geauga County. The Geauga Fresh Farm Market has moved indoors to Lowe’s Greenhouse (16540 Chillicothe Rd, Bainbridge) on Saturdays through March 12.

Market manager Cheryl Hammon receives numerous requests to extend the market every year. An invitation to move the popular outdoor market indoors came from Jeff Griff of Lowe’s Greenhouse in Bainbridge. “It is located just a few miles from the summer market, so it remains convenient for loyal customers.”

The winter market will run 9am to noon—the same hours as the summer market—and will feature around twenty vendors each week, primarily from Geauga County. Many will be familiar to summer market customers, but Hammon says there will be a few new ones as well.

“We have a couple of new vendors with adult-flavored truffles from The Bom, jars of jalapeno pepper treats and jalapeno syrup from Randi’s Pantry, and Carhop’s Burger Sauce.” Customers will find fresh eggs, meats, and produce plus nut butters, jams, coffees, and even some bath and body products. Be sure to stop by Bat Barn Farm and Foraging to grab one of Steve Corso’s last jelly melons—a unique and under-appreciated alien-looking fruit that you can see in the latest Star Wars film.

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Winter market at Coit Road

A bit closer to downtown Cleveland, The historic Coit Road Farmers Market in East Cleveland, has been around since 1932, so a little ice and snow doesn’t intimidate this bunch. This market is located at 15000 Woodworth Road in East Cleveland, and runs Saturdays 8am to 1pm all through the year (and Wednesdays April—November).

Market Manager Kevin Scheuring says that people are always surprised at the variety of winter produce found there. “There is an increasing amount of produce being grown in greenhouses and heated high tunnels.” Shoppers will relish the winter supply of lettuce, spinach, greens. and microgreens from Burton Floral and Garden and Community Greenhouse Partners. Carousel Farm in Windsor offers eggs and lots of hardy root vegetables like turnips, parsnips, beets, carrots, cabbage, and garlic. Kai’s Kultured Mushrooms are about as local as they come—grown just a few miles away in the Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood.

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Winter market at Coit Road

Scheuring says “For me, the challenge of eating local in winter is being creative enough to find uses for the smaller selection of ingredients, but it can be done. I recently made hot and sour soup using shiitake and oyster mushrooms, chive vinegar, white peppercorns, and produce from the market.”

The good news is, no matter where you live—east, west, south, or in the heart of the city—there’s a market within reach. Many established markets offer an alternate indoor location including the North Union Farmers Market at Shaker Square or Crocker Park, the Countryside Farmers Market in Bath, and the Oberlin Farmers Market. Head a little farther south for a day trip to Wooster and shop the convenient Local Roots Market and Café.

Here’s a convenient list of several regional winter markets from our Winter issue.

Lisa Sands