Y-City News

Expanding the market

Rev. Suellen Skinner is pastor at Brighton Presbyterian Church, and a passionate advocate for local food sovereignty. She believes that hunger relief programs, community gardens, and a vigorous, year round farmer market will together build community, strengthen our local economy and encourage young people to work, and eat well, while engaging in our future.

Rev. Suellen Skinner is pastor at Brighton Presbyterian Church, and a passionate advocate for local food sovereignty. She believes that hunger relief programs, community gardens, and a vigorous, year round farmer market will together build community, strengthen our local economy and encourage young people to work, and eat well, while engaging in our future.

By Suellen Skinner, Special to Y-City News

Every Spring I look forward to the opening of the Zanesville Farmer’s Market. Even before the veggies kick in, the opening day offers a range of food from cheese and meats to yummy baked goods and even hot meals. The crafters always have something interesting to look at and the Muskingum County Master Gardeners are ready to provide information and advice to folks who are starting to work in their gardens. I go almost every week throughout the season to pick up those items that failed to produce in my own garden … like fudge and chocolate cookies, or multi-grain bread.

There is more, though. Over time, I see friends from all over town and all my various social groups. I have made friends among the vendors. I have become familiar with the various items that each person supplies and learned about their farms and fields. The farmer’s market allows us city folk to shift from buying food at the grocery store in plastic bags that often come from far away to using our food dollars to support our farmer friends, which keeps our money in our communities and creates a rich food web that ties us all together.

When October draws to a close, as the weather becomes chilly, and the days become shorter, it has also been time to buy those last apples for holiday applesauce, to pick up some ham or even line up a turkey for Thanksgiving. But the holidays seem so far away as my friends and neighbors pack up their tents for the season.

So I was delighted to discover that plans were being made to extend the market. Our inaugural Fall Farmers’ Market begins Nov. 3 and extends every Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., through Dec. 15. It pairs our market with a local microbrewery that uses our produce in its food offerings. It is a match made in heaven. After all, one main reason that the summer market closes is that it is too cold for wandering around the fairgrounds. At Weasel Boy Brewing Company, there will be 20 vendors in the event space, selling all the food I love, produced in the community by people I enjoy. Opening day will feature a kegs and eggs style breakfast menu with breakfast pizzas using farm eggs from Havens Hill Farm, so come with an appetite.

This is an important expansion of our local food economy, providing support to farmers as they develop new ways to extend their growing season with high tunnels and greenhouses. Without a market these new methods would be difficult to support. It also allows bakers and other vendors to expand their market. Step by step, consumers and producers are working together to help Zanesville establish an increasing supply of local food to help combat health issues caused by poor diet, to increase the number of dollars going back into our local economy, and to promote thoughtful spending of our dollars.

As the holidays approach, there is a new opportunity to prepare for the holidays and to make your money multi-task. Buy healthy, local food and even holiday gifts and crafts, put your money back into the community and spend some time hanging out and eating with friends at the market. Make the Zanesville local food economy strong, help it grow and make the season even more fun!

1 Comment

One Response to “Expanding the market”

  1. Susan Holdren on November 1st, 2018 2:12 pm

    Well said, SueEllen. I am very much looking forward to sampling what the new market will have to offer!

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