Grandview farmers market begins 5th year

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

The Grandview Avenue Farmers Market kicked off its fifth season Saturday, July 19.

The market will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday through September on Grandview Avenue, near Second Avenue.

The farmers market is sponsored by the Grandview/Marble Cliff Area Chamber of Commerce and managed by the Pearl Alley Grower's Association.

"Farmers markets are a very old tradition in the United States," said Dorothy Pritchard, market liaison for the chamber. "It's so nice to have one in Grandview. Grandview Avenue is such a great location with all the Saturday morning foot traffic."

The market will offer home grown fruits and vegetables, honey, herbs and cut flowers and a vendor with specialty baked goods, she said. The items available each week will vary as they come into season.

"It's so much more fun to shop for your produce at a farmers market, and you're getting it fresh off the farm," Pritchard said.

A farmers market festival will be held at the Aug. 23 market, she said.

"It will be a celebration of nature's bounty," Pritchard said.

The festival will include music and food samples, she said.

The chamber is also offering local businesses the opportunity to display their products at the market, Pritchard said. Any business interested in participating should call her at 486-6190.

Among this year's vendors will be the Eyestone Flower Farm, owned by Chris and Andrea Schimpf in Bloomville.

"Chris is a farmer and he's set aside about four or five acres to grow flowers," Eyestone employee Devon Gottfried said.

Eyestone currently has lilies and gladiolus available for purchase at the market, and later this summer plans to offer sunflowers and celosia, he said.

Like any kind of farmer, the items the Schimpfs' offer each summer depends largely on the weather, Gottfried said.

Insects can also be a problem, he said.

Last year, insects damaged Eyestone's gladiolus flowers, Gottfried said.

"This year we'll have a good selection of gladiolus," he said. "Gladiolus and lilies are our top two sellers. People really love them."

Participating in a farmers market "is really a lot of fun," said Marc Poston, who operates Naomi's Garden in Ashley.

Poston's farm offers only organic produce, flowers and herbs.

"I enjoy a farmers market because I get a chance to talk to people who stop by our booth," he said. "We share a lot of recipes and I get to educate people. A lot of people don't know about the benefits of organic produce."

Along with fruits and vegetables, including a variety of tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, cantaloupe and melons, Poston will be offering eggs from organically-fed chickens later this summer.

One of the main concepts behind an organic farm is that it be as self-supporting as possible, Poston said.

"We try to grow everything we need," he said. "We even make our own fertilizer. The leftover vegetables we don't sell at the farmers' markets we'll turn into compost."

Poston said farmers have had to deal with more rain than usual this year.

"It's been tough because we couldn't get out in the field as quickly as normal and we weren't able to stay in the field as long as we'd like," he said. "It's been tough, but I think everything will turn out okay."