Columbus Monthly editors steer you to the best of the harvest (and handicraft) at 22 farmers markets in and around Columbus.
400 West Rich
Lucas Street between West Town and Walnut streets
11 a.m.-2 p.m. second and fourth Saturdays through September
400 West Rich's arts-startup vibe extends to the farmers market just outside the art collective's doors. In addition to standard market offerings-locally grown and raised produce and meats, baked items, jams, cheeses and more-the 400 West Rich market also boasts handmade products like jewelry and soaps from up-and-coming artisans, vintage books, live local music and even some performances by local trapeze group Movement Activities in the Strongwater gallery space.
2111 E. Main St.
4-7 p.m. Thursdays through October
In 2011, a group of Bexley residents banded together to revamp the town's farmers market. The result is a market that this year features 17 vendors, including Dan the Baker, Rhoads Farm, Sweet! The Mobile Cupcakery, Challah! Food Truck and more. Musicians perform almost every other week, a knife-sharpening vendor will be on site once a month, and they're working with Bexley Health & Wellness to offer a program called Try It Thursday, a spinoff of the Try It Tuesday healthy eating school program.
North High Street between Orchard Lane and West
9 a.m.-noon Saturdays through Nov. 22; 4-7 p.m. Wednesdays, June 18-Aug. 20
Now in its 12th season, the Clintonville Farmers' Market features up to 50 vendors on Saturdays as well as a local band every week and educational activities like demos by local chefs, canning classes and more. For a different experience, market manager Michelle White recommends stopping by the smaller Wednesday market: "You definitely have more chances to interact with farmers and vendors."
Oakland Nursery Dublin parking lot, 4261 W. Dublin-Granville Rd.
3:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays through September
Catering to the post-work crowd, Dublin's market is easily accessible with multiple entrances and plenty of parking. New this year is the market's first food truck, CZNZ Eats, which serves up summertime favorites like pulled pork and iced tea. Whole Foods Dublin will also be on hand once a month for cooking demonstrations.
Easton Town Square
4-7 p.m. Thursdays through August
Easton has the lock on Columbus shopping, so it only makes sense their farmers market is excellent, too. Highlights include bread from Dan the Baker, crafts and goods from Celebrate Local and fresh-cut flowers from Dean Farms & Flowers. Bonus: Shoppers can leave their purchases at the Veggie Valet booth while they shop elsewhere. New this year are cooking demonstrations led by Max Rice, executive chef at Flip Side, and a kids' activity tent.
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
1777 E. Broad St.
3:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sept. 4
In addition to a variety of local, seasonal vegetables and fruits, meat and dairy, baked goods, soaps, candles and more, the conservatory's market also offers food trucks, cooking demonstrations using food from the market and a lineup of family activities and entertainment that changes with the week. If you're lucky, you'll find vegetable and herb plants from the greenhouse, which the market makes available on occasion.
Along Broadway and Park Street
8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, July 12-Sept. 13 (spring market runs through June 14)
Around 30 vendors line two blocks of sidewalks down Broadway and spill over onto Park Street in historic Downtown. Here you'll find traditional farmers market goods, like seasonal fruits and vegetables, plants and microgreens, eggs, baked goods and artisan cheeses. You'll also find more specific items like apple butter, gluten-free breads and cookies, fresh sunflowers and bison meat. Don't miss this year's Family Fun Day on Aug. 2 for kid-friendly activities like a bounce house, a dunk tank, balloon animals and llamas.
Corner of Center and Wayne streets
4-7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sept. 9
Produce vendors abound at this weekday market, including Wishwell, Hirsch Fruit and Rhoads farms. Meat vendors, sauce makers, olive oil producers, beekeepers and coffee roasters also participate. New to the market this year is the Little Acorn Children's Garden, an organization dedicated to teaching kids about recycling, composting and pesticide-free gardening. They'll be selling items like plant starters and bags of acorns. Throughout the summer, expect pop-up entertainment like a banjo player, a magician, food trucks and cooking demos.
Parking lot at Wheeling and Memorial
8 a.m.-noon Saturdays through October
You'll find a variety of produce, meat, baked and canned goods and crafts at this good old-fashioned market. There are no flashy entertainers or special activities-just farmers, bakers and artisans and their selection of wholesome goods. Berry Family Farms, Hugus Fruit Farm and Great Harvest breads are among the 30-some vendors.
Main Street Delaware
Sandusky Street, downtown Delaware
9:30 a.m.-noon Saturdays and 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays through October
This downtown Delaware market is always on the shady side of the street (Wednesday's market is on the west side, and Saturday is on the east), and its main draw is the vendor lineup. On Saturdays during peak season, more than 50 vendors come out to sell their fresh produce, baked goods, flowers and craft items like soaps, pottery and specialty gifts (the market limits artisan sellers to 15 percent of the overall vendors).
4-7 p.m. Thursdays, June 26-Sept. 4 (no market July 3)
You'll find about 50 vendors on Market Square, making this one of the largest markets around. Offerings include (but are hardly limited to) local meats, baked goods and ice cream, as well as specialty vendors like J-Pops. You can also expect live music, nonprofit tents and food trucks. Visitors are encouraged to bring cash, though a number of vendors accept credit. (An ATM is located in Market Square if you need cash in a pinch.)
59 Spruce St.
8 a.m. to sellout Saturdays through Dec. 20
There's always something happening at this yearlong market, which has expanded its space along Spruce Street since last year. In addition to about 30 vendors, organizers are planning a number of grilling demos that will shift with the seasons. You'll also find nonprofits like the Capital Area Humane Society's mobile team. Fresh produce goes fast (as does street parking), so it's best to arrive early.
89 N. Center St.
4-7 p.m. Thursdays through
Following its inaugural season last year, the second installment of the Pickerington market features 11 returning and 11 new vendors offering veggies and fruit, breads, desserts, hormone-free meats, potted plants, honey, jam, relish, homemade crafts and more. Returning favorites include Pompeii's Inferno wood-fired pizzas, Falter's Meats and Schultz Valley Farms, while new highlights are Brad's Bees and A Taste to Remember Catering.
Alleys between Broad, High, Gay and Third streets
10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays through October
A mix of farmers and merchants-more than 40 vendors all together-line the Downtown alleys twice a week. You'll find watermelon, corn, cucumbers and the like, as well as a number of local businesses such as Car2go, which allows visitors to test-drive Smart cars on site. Almost all vendors accept credit, but you can also trade credit (at an even exchange rate) for market tokens at the market's main tent. Show up early before the sun hits the alleyways.
50 S. Liberty St., rear parking lot
9 a.m.-noon Saturdays through Oct. 11 (no market June 28)
This quaint, easy-to-navigate market hosts 15 to 20 vendors. The offerings are diverse, from local cheese, bacon and pies to gardening supplies like flowers, hanging baskets and composting worms. New this year are handmade lotions and body scrubs. Parking is abundant, and vendors accept only cash.
Huber Park, near the Senior Citizens Activity Center at 1520 Davidson Dr.
3-6 p.m. Thursdays through August (no market July 3)
Kicking off its seventh season this month, you'll find up to 20 vendors hawking fresh produce, maple syrup, meat and bread each week at the Reynoldsburg Farmers Market. Market manager Kristin Hampton-Harmon recommends picking up hormone-free beef from Darby Creek Beef, Asian vegetables and herbs from Black-Thai Farm, fruit salsas from JP's Chips-N-Dip Salsa and scratch-made pies from Joni "Pie Lady" Schulthesis of Joni's Just Desserts. Look for area food trucks to make appearances throughout the season, too.
Upper Arlington Senior Center parking lot, 1945 Ridgeview Rd.
3-6 p.m. Wednesdays through September
At the height of growing season, on Aug. 20, the UA market celebrates with family-friendly event Peak of the Pick. In addition to the roughly 18 weekly vendors, the market that day will feature cooking demos, food samples, face painting and music, says market manager Mac Kinney. Outside of this event, though, Kinney adds there are plenty of other reasons to swing by, including ample produce like corn and watermelon, grass-fed cheese and ice cream, locally roasted coffee and Ohio-raised tilapia.
North State and East Home streets
3-6 p.m. Wednesdays through October
Every week, roughly 18 vendors fill the 161-foot-long space at the Uptown Westerville market. Every vendor appears at other weekend markets, says market manager Linda Foor, so this is your chance to catch up with producers like Swainway Urban Farm, Branstool Orchards, Dan the Baker and Hartzler Dairy midweek. Expect to find milk, butter, bread and baked goods, vegetables, fruit and honey here. There's plenty of parking and, if you run out of cash, four ATMs within walking distance.
Pro tip: Foor recommends bringing a packed cooler or freezer bag, especially if you're planning to buy meat.
Corner of North High and East New England streets
8 a.m.-noon Saturdays through October
Worthington hosts one of the area's largest and longest-running farmers markets. Shoppers drive in from all over the area to browse the more than 80 vendors set up throughout the neighborhood. Here, market-goers, freshly roasted Silver Bridge Coffee in hand, vie for fresh produce, organic meats, herbs, cheese and baked goods. You'll want to get there early to get a parking space and snag beets from Dangling Carrot Farm, fresh fruit from Gillogly Orchard and free-range meat from Oink Moo Cluck Farms. New this year: An expanded layout that's moved roughly a dozen vendors to the Dewey's parking lot will hopefully clear up pedestrian congestion.