Celebrate at the Champaign County Farmers’ Market!

Like a garden nourished by good soil and the ideal balance of sunshine and rain, the Champaign County Farmers’ Market is flourishing from the support of an appreciative community.

Lonny LeFever, president of the Champaign County Farmers' Market, serves customers at his booth, Lonny's Green Acres.

In thankfulness, the market’s board and vendors are rolling out the green carpet.

Be sure to come out for this Saturday’s market day—October 9, at the corner of E. Market and Locust Streets in Urbana, Ohio—to help celebrate the market’s being voted one of America’s four favorite farmers markets in the American Farmland Trust “America’s Favorite Farmers Markets™” contest.

As it does every Saturday, May through October, the market will open at 9 a.m.  Then, at 10 a.m., the celebration officially begins. Jon Schell, president of American Farmland Trust, will present the market its award.

Our local market pulled in 3,265 online votes (only one vote allowed per IP address) making it the most popular small farmers market (16-30 vendors) in the nation. That’s pretty impressive, considering about 1,300 participating markets received a total of 60,000 votes. And the Champaign County Farmers’ Market was just 400 votes shy of the total received by the winner of the large market division – the Rochester Farmers Market! (By the way, that’s Rochester, N.Y., population 219,773* vs. Champaign County, Ohio, population 38,890*.) Just another indicator of the community spirit that helped Urbana gain Ohio Magazine’s Best Hometown designation.

The celebration also will include music, excellent food, cooking demonstrations, tours of the Market Street Community Garden and other activities–and, I’ve been assured, brief remarks from market and community leaders (who, if they go long, will have fresh, not rotten, produce to dodge).

In addition, vendors from the Mechanicsburg and St. Paris farmers markets have been invited to set up booths—so there will be even more selection than usual. Also, the market will stay open past its usual 1 p.m. closing–as long as supplies and customers last.

If you haven’t been to the market yet, come out and see what you’ve been missing.

I’ll be back with more about the market in my next post.

In the meantime, what do you like about the Champaign, Mechanicsburg or St. Paris farmers markets?

*2000 U.S. Census

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