On Friday, May 6 an evening farmers market will convene in Shawnee, Ohio. Starting at 5:00 PM, vendors will gather near the train caboose off 2nd Street and OH-155. Customers can expect to find locally grown and produced vegetables, honey, dairy, baked goods, crafts, and other merchandise. Adult beverages and soft drinks will also be available for purchase. Shopping will be accompanied by live music performed by Elliot Boley. The Shawnee Farmers Market will be held on the first Friday of every month from May until October.
Businesses and organizations in attendance include Steve’s Bees, Princess Pops, Ilene’s Jellies, Psychedelic Fibers, Critter Creations, Rita Faye Coal Jewelry, the Shawnee Methodist Church, the Perry County Library, Shawnee Mercantile, Shawnee Homecoming and Improvement Group, Shagbark Seed & Mill, Rural Action, and ACEnet. Produce from the Chesterhill Produce Auction will be for sale. There will be street parking and restroom facilities available for use.
The market is hosted by Destination Shawnee, in collaboration with Rural Action, ACENet and the Southern Perry Incubation Center for Entrepreneurs (SPICE). Destination Shawnee’s aim is to complement the assets Shawnee already possesses as a destination for outdoor recreation by setting up recurring events—like the First Friday Market—to boost commercial activity and tourism.
“Members of Destination Shawnee are very excited and proud to sponsor this monthly event,” says Deb Hutmire of Destination Shawnee, “This gives our neighbors and friends an opportunity to not only experience our market, but provides products and produce made and grown locally. We appreciate the support we have been given over the years, and look forward to expanding.”
Another aim for the market is to improve access to fresh, healthy food in the community. “We have no fresh produce down here unless you grow it,” says Fritzie Nitschke of SPICE, “If you’re not growing it in your garden, it’s a twenty-minute drive to Kroger or Walmart, and then it’s grocery store produce. This will be local.” The two closest grocery stores to Shawnee are both in New Lexington, requiring that Shawnee residents travel a cumulative twenty miles to go grocery shopping.
Community members look forward to the market’s resumption for the 2022 growing season. “I’ve gone to the farmers market since it first started,” says Michelle Engel, owner of Ed’s Carryout in nearby New Straitsville, “I’ve gone to buy for my family and share things back home. Now that I have Ed’s Carryout and I can buy produce from the [market], I can bring it back and make it available to people that can’t be there or don’t have transportation to the market. It’ll be nice to offer fresh, local produce to people here in town.”
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