Pack up your family and head to Peninsula, Ohio every Saturday morning for the Countryside Farmer’s Market this summer and year-round. A morning at this Farmer’s Market is fun for the entire family with more than 65 local food vendors, farmers and makers with live music, entertainment for kids, cooking demos, tastings, and prepared foods. Nothing says summer quite like a trip with the family to the farmer’s market on Saturday morning. It is a great way to teach kids where food comes from as well as get the fresh produce with the highest nutritional value from local farmers. My husband and I have taken our kids over the years to farmers markets from when they were toddlers to now in their teens. When kids are involved in making food choices, they become less picky, eat healthier, and have a more positive view on food. Countryside Farmer’s Market is making it easy for families to join in on supporting local farmers and makers by adding in a few fun things for the kids to to. The Akron-Summit County Public Library is on site every Saturday with their bookmobile as well as fun activities for the kids to do each week.
I like that going to the farmer’s market allows you to kind of step by from the busiest of everyday life to stop and enjoy things like live music. Don’t rush past, be sure to stop and enjoy a few songs with your kids.
I’ll talk about the benefits of teaching your kids about where their food comes from and how shopping at the Countryside Farmer’s below. To get kids excited to go to the farmer’s market each week, I am not above bribing them with a treat at the market! The popsicles are always a big hit, especially on hot days. This booth always had a line and happy, happy kids! There are several prepared foods to choose from like above and Kettle corn below where you can enjoy or take home a special sweet treat from the market. Although not produce, they are still supporting small local businesses.
Countryside’s mission is to build a thriving local food community by connecting people, food and land in and beyond Cuyahoga Valley National Park. They do an awesome job with their summer markets as well as their winter markets at Old Trail school.
One major benefit to shopping at Countryside Farmer’s Market is the nutritional value you get from buy locally grown produce. When you buy local, you are getting the freshest produce possible for your family. This means that flavors are better, they stay fresher longer, and haven’t been processed to be shelf stable. Food that is grown nearby is higher in nutritional value in part because some anti-oxidants like Vitamin C, folate, and carotenes rapidly decline when stored for periods of time. Getting it fresh is best. The more your take your kids to the farmer’s market, the more they will understand what food is in season in Ohio. Eating seasonally is an excellent way to add nutritients and vitamines that you wouldn’t if you buy the same veggies and fruits day in and day out, year-round. You and your kids will find that when you eat food that is in season it tastes WAY better than food forced to grow out of season. Food that ripens in the sun taste fresher, better and have higher nutritional, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Many vendors will let your kids taste before they buy too.Get your kids involved from before you even get to Countryside Farmer’s Market. Check out seasonal recipes online or on the Coutnryside recipes and make a list of what you’ll need as a family. When kids are involved in meal planning, picking out food, and cooking, they are more likely to eat the food and eat healthier. Give them a bag to put their finds in at the market and a set dollar amount that they can spend on healthy food and a set amount on ‘treats’. You can even have your kids prepare a question to ask a farmer or other exhibitor. You and your kids can learn so much about foods you’ve never tried before as well as how the food was grown at farmer’s markets – something you can’t when shopping traditionally.You’ll find many local entrepreneurs at Countryside – food and non-food related. I love hearing them share individual stores and seeing their passion about their products like Haff’s Hot Sauce. He has some true fans – and gives out samples if you can stand the heat! You’ll also be able to find a variety of plants and flowers at Countryside Farmer’s Market. I loved the succulents, tropical plants, and Ohio garden plants at Western Reserve Seed Company. I heard him giving great advice to one lady looking to add a specific look at a particular part of her flower bed. You can also pick up cut flowers and bouquets form a couple booths including Joshiah Lincoln Clouser Flower Farm located right in Peninsula, Ohio. She had beautiful and inexpensive arrangements with locally grown flowers of all kinds. She also does flowers for special events and weddings. firstname.lastname@example.org 330-858-9720dIf you want to feel really good about supporting local businesses, this is the place for you. I enjoyed learning about how Yada Yada Coffee was established during the pandemic and seeing that this family business had the support of the whole family including their 4 children at the market. This is really local and really fresh Akron, Ohio coffee! You can also find specialty teas if that’s more your cup of choice.
I have more to share, including stories from several vendors in upcoming posts. There is such a wide variety of goods to be sold that there really is something for everyone – young and old at the market.
Dogs are the part of the family too and they are invited too. Dogs on a leash are invited to the market with their humans during Yappy Hour, from 11am to Noon.
Countryside Farmer’s Market Events
Every week is a new experience with new produce, goods, and vendors. They do a great job at making every market unique so you can enjoy new things every week. Each week there is a new theme too!
- July 16 – Christmas in July with Crafty Mart, and Chase the Flavor Chef Demo . First, Crafty Mart is back for Christmas in July at the market with over a dozen local artists and makers!
- July 23 – Humane Society of Summit County (Subaru Outback raffle)
- July 30 – Tai Chi Animals with the Akron-Summit county Public Library Bookmobile
How to buy
Vendors accept cash but you can also use your credit card to purchase market tokens in $5 increments, vendors will give you change.
To increase access of locally-grown, fresh produce for WIC and Ohio Direction Card recipients, you can receive $1 tokens to be spent on eligible items with vendors. Matching Produce Perks tokens, up to $20, are provided for the purchase of locally-grown, fresh produce. Carrot Cash, a nutrition incentive that provides an extra $10 for WIC clients to spend on fresh, local fruits and vegetables at each visit to participating markets in 2022.
Make Countryside Farmer’s Market part of your weekend every Saturday. Pack a cooler to keep meats and produce cool in the car and make it a day in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It’s a great way to explore and have fun in your own ‘backyard’ every Saturday!
Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow
4040 Riverview Rd
Peninsula, OH 44264
Saturdays, 9am to 12pm from May 7 – October 29, 2022