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Season ripe for farmers markets


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Columbus’ two mainstay farmers markets are set to open Saturday.

Columbus Summer Farmers Market, located in the Cummins headquarters parking lot.

Columbus City Farmers Market, located at FairOaks Mall.

 

Both operate from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each Saturday through Sept. 20.

“We’re ready to get reacquainted with our customers,” Columbus Farmers Market chairwoman Becky Church said.

The downtown Summer Farmers Market has 83 full-time vendors and 45 part-time vendors who rotate during the course of the market’s 16-week run.

Summer market vendors sell produce, baked goods, finished crafts and ready-to-eat food. This year’s market newcomers include a knife sharpener, a cosmetics manufacturer and a frozen shrimp vendor. The Columbus Farmers Market had a smaller opening with its spring market, conducted on Fourth Street and featuring a smaller booth count but some of the same vendors.

Live music returns this summer, kicking off with the Banister Family Bluegrass Band on opening day.

New this year is the Columbus Bicycle Co-Op’s free bike valet program, which allows Columbus Farmers Market shoppers to ride their bikes to the market and have them parked by Co-Op volunteers.

Across town, the 15 vendors at the Columbus City Farmers Market will sell produce from local growers, meat, eggs, pulled-pork sandwiches, home-baked goods, spices, sauces, oils, seasonal fruits, plants and flowers. Additionally, artists and local authors will feature their works; organizers hope to add more vendors as the season continues.

“We are excited as we are every year when the market season starts,” organizer Sande Hummel said.

New this year, the City Market will feature a chef demonstrating meal preparation using market foods.

Barb Hackman, of Hackman’s Farm and Greenhouse, sells at both markets, with her daughter Liana Lienhoop manning a table at the City Market while Hackman runs the table downtown.

“I see a lot of friends, family; and I look forward to seeing them every time we go,” Hackman said.

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