Shaker Square: Sat 4/3 & Crocker Park: Sat 4/10
Over the winter months, grocery stores are filled with imported produce: grapes from Chile, tomatoes, asparagus, and berries from Mexico, and melons from Guatemala and Honduras. While traveling great distances, the produce has been sitting in crates on trucks, trains and cargo ships rather than growing in the ground and ripening under the sun. That’s why local foodies can rejoice in anticipation of the grand opening of the North Union Farmers Market at Shaker Square on Saturday, April 3, and at Crocker Park, the following Saturday, April 10. This year they are operating at seven market locations: Shaker Square, Crocker Park, Chagrin Falls, Lakewood, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland State University, and Hillcrest Hospital.
“The North Union Farmers Market first opened in July, 1995, at Shaker Square. We are a non-profit organization providing the infra-structure for farmers to be successful,” Anderson explained. “We have re-introduced the right way to run a farmers market, not undercut by food brokers or middlemen. We only have certified producers – 65 farmers at Shaker Square and 45 farmers at Crocker Park. We certify that these farmers own the land and bring their own produce to market.” She’s been mentored along the way by NYC Green Market and Certified Producer Only Markets of San Francisco.
Over the years, the North Union Farmers Market has gone on to serve as a business incubator for 300 small businesses – farms, bakeries, craft studios, and performing music groups. North Union partners with the Cleveland Botanical Garden sponsoring the “Time to Grow” event each year bringing in expert speakers about a variety of topics including teaching farmers marketing skills. There is a lot more growing here beside apples and flowers and tomatoes. New in 2010, North Union is running their outdoor downtown market at Cleveland State University and a new pilot site at Hillcrest Hospital for July. North Union has changed the “Lets Get Fresh” fundraiser to a new grassroots, local food celebration of garlic. Anderson said some of the best garlic is grown right here in Ohio. Shaker Square will host the Garlic Festival on Saturday, September 11, and Sunday, September 12. Food aficionados and locavores unite! Visit the North Union Farmers Markets and celebrate the incredible bounty harvested right here from Ohio soil.
For more information, visit: http://www.northunionfarmersmarket.org.