NEW HAVEN — It’s a place to meet and socialize, a place to buy local goods, and a place to help nearby farmers and vendors.
The New Haven Farmers Market opened for the second year in the town park, and will be open for both vendors and shoppers each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to organizers Jeff and Vicki DeWeese.
Even though the early produce won’t be available for a few weeks, the park was filled with hanging baskets, flowers, and hand painted signs on opening day. Soon there will be peas, lettuce and onions, as well as bedding plants like peppers and tomatoes, the DeWeese couple stated.
Jeff DeWeese said the farmers market is mostly agriculture related. He said it is not a place for flea market or yard sale items.
“We will be offering everything that is in season,” DeWeese continued. “It’s mostly local, and we really encourage organic.”
Vicki DeWeese said the farmers market was very successful in the inaugural year. She said several young people got involved in the event.
“We had a 12-year-old, John Andrew Gerlach, who made $80 selling organic cherry tomatoes from only two plants,” she stated. “We would like to see more young people out here.”
Jeff DeWeese said the quality of the flowers, plants and produce is the same as offered at local businesses, but with lower prices. He said one of the goals of the farmers market is to help the community. He added the push this year is to get the community more involved – to come and sit and socialize.
Keith and Isabelle Nutter, who were selling hand painted signs at the park, will be helping with the socializing next week. Keith will be bringing his guitar to provide music, and is expecting some other local musicians to join him. Anyone who sings or plays an instrument is invited to join in on the jam session.
Some of the other vendors expected in the coming weeks are some local Amish families with baked goods, beekeepers with honey, and later in the season, one with sorghum molasses.
Debra Russell will continue her free seminars this year. Russell emphasizes permaculture, as well as raised bed and organic gardening.
The DeWeese couple said the farmers market will continue into the fall to include mums and pumpkins. It will end with a customer appreciation day like last year, when free hotdogs, drinks and door prizes were offered.
Anyone wanting to set up at the park simply needs to show up. There is no registration or charge.
For more information, contact Jeff DeWeese at 304-593-2504. Residents can also follow the farmers market on Facebook under New Haven Farmers Market.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at [email protected]