I took Monday off this week so that I could spend an afternoon rocking and rolling through the hills of Mohican State Park on my mountain bike, and as usual mama nature did not disappoint. With fall colors popping, sun rays slicing through the tree tops, and near perfect trail conditions I thought I had died and gone to heaven. What a ride. And what a ride it’s been for the Kent Farmers Market this year (how’s that for a segue). The Kent Market has doubled in size this year and by adding free music they’ve officially affirmed their status as the eco-friendly, buy local, eat healthy party for Portage County’s harvest on Saturday mornings in downtown Kent (where else would you find a party on Saturday morning?) With the produce season wrapping up I wanted to be sure to remind everyone to take time either this weekend (Oct 18) or next weekend (Oct 25) to stock their shelves before old man winter comes knocking.
All concerts are free and open to the community. According to market manager Fritz Seefeldt, “The public response to having live music at the farmers’ market has been overwhelmingly positive. The wide diversity of local musical talent has allowed me to schedule a rich mixture of performances throughout the season adding a festive flavor to the open-air market. We plan to continue the “Music @ the Market” series next year and are already scheduling performers for the 2009 season.”
The final event for the season will feature a performance by Mr. Jon Mosey on October 25th. Local musicians interested in performing at the market for next season should contact Fritz Seefeldt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Haymaker Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday through Halloween weekend, October 25, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 pm and is located along Franklin Avenue between College and Summit Streets.
Here’s an update on the continued evolution of the Kent Farmers Market from the volunteers that pull it all together each week.
This summer has been so much fun at the farmers’ market. We have almost doubled in size in the past year and community interest has never been stronger. We have become a real asset to Kent’s downtown during an otherwise quiet time of the week.
Local merchants have expressed strong enthusiasm for our market and are discussing innovative ways for more direct involvement between us. We will be experiencing the fruits of these discussions next season and should be seeing mutually beneficial results.
Everyone I have spoken to downtown has seen an increase in their business during market hours on Saturdays with some of their customers still carrying their produce laden bags from Haymaker! Our city manager, Dave Ruller has been very supportive with several mentions on his Kent 360 blog as well as a short film segment filmed for Kent’s Youtube page. The market is listed on the Main Street Kent website and we are hoping for even more direct cooperation with Mary’s organization next year.
Other improvements that we will be working on this winter will be adding benches along Franklin Avenue in front of the market. Funding as usual is a stumbling block, so I am hoping for city or private sponsorship that will allow the market to share in the cost and still have enough operating revenue left to pay our start up costs for next season. The benches are not necessarily that expensive , but we still operate on a shoe string with very little left for additional expenses.
The other issue as most of you know is the condition of our north Pufferbelly lot. Many of the potholes could easily hide a Volkswagen and could be potentially dangerous for pedestrians. Jo Anne and I don’t have a truck so we can’t haul gravel. Technically the lot belongs to the railroad, so we will need to find a gravel company to drop 10 tons in that lot. If anyone knows of someone in the business, please let me know.
Jo Anne and I never dreamed 16 years ago that we would still be putting up signs and setting up the market every Saturday morning, but the pleasure we share with our community each market more than offsets the labor we put into it.
This coming week at Haymaker we will be enjoying a performance by Ms. Andrea Bussinger. I am attaching the press release below. The final week of the season Mr. Jon Mosey will be wrapping up our Music @ the Market series.
All the best to everyone,