Mary Ann Kasper and Lonnie Hawks with Socially Responsible Sweat Shop
The Haymaker Farmers’ Market prides itself on being a producers-only market. So what is a producers-only market? In the simplest terms, it is a market at which vendors are permitted to only sell products that they have themselves produced. This means you can be sure that the tomato you are buying was grown by the farmer selling it and the eggs you are buying came from hens the farmer is raising and tending. It means the breads and jams and cheeses and soaps and coffee and snacks were all produced by the vendor selling them. It also means vendors likely take great pride in what they are producing and are happy to chat about their products and their processes and answer your questions.
This season, the HFM is welcoming over 40 vendors offering a wide selection of locallygrown and produced products. If you are a market regular, you will find many of your long-time favorites in addition to several new vendors with a variety of new items not offered at market before. Customers wishing to plant their own gardens with locally-raised vegetable and herb starts will find a large selection at the spring markets. If you’ve never attended Portage County’s longest-running farmers’ market, we encourage you come downtown and have a look for yourself.
In addition to providing a shopping venue for locally grown and produced food items, every week the market also hosts a local musical act from 10am – noon. Performances are free and open to the public and add a festive and creative feel to the hustle and bustle of the busy market. The artistic setting is enhanced by the stunning mural depicting scenes from the market and Kent painted on the abutments of the Haymaker overpass, under which part of the market sits.
Many community groups and artists join the market on a rotating basis, adding to the civic and convivial atmosphere. The Campus Kitchen at Kent State University joins the market weekly to offer recipes, cooking demonstrations, and free samples of seasonal dishes made with market produce.
The market welcomes credit and debit card users as well as Ohio Direction Card SNAP users. Customers wishing to swipe their cards in exchange for market tokens may visit the market information table for assistance. SNAP recipients also receive a weekly Produce Perks match of up to $20 for the purchase of fresh fruits, vegetables, and food-producing garden plants. The Socially Responsible Sweatshop of Kent offers handmade shopping totes, yoga bags, zafu pillows, pet beds, and more made from upcycled and recycled fabrics to support the Produce Perks program which doubles spending power for many individuals and families in need within our community.
Shopping at your local farmers’ market does a lot to support your local economy, small businesses, and Ohio’s long tradition of agriculture, which was at one time Portage County’s main industry. Your support keeps farmers farming and ensures that locally-grown produce and locally raised meat and eggs continue to be abundant and available. It keeps traditions like handmade soaps, homemade preserves, and locally-made cheeses and baked goods alive. By shopping at your farmers’ market, you have a chance to try new foods that can inspire a sense of adventure and a rhythm of the seasons in cooking. Joining the market community can spark lasting friendships and lead to new experiences. Your support for Haymaker Farmers’ Market also brings you to downtown Kent on Saturdays – and Kent is a thriving city where there is always something special going on. It’s a city filled with spots to hear live music, enjoy many festivals and events, and a wide variety of great restaurants and bars.
The Haymaker Farmers’ Market is a wonderful place to be all season long and we hope you will join us.
Musical guest Box of Squirrels receives a tip from a fan