Countryside is accepting applications for its 2020 Farmers’ Market season at Howe Meadow — through Feb. 13 for returning vendors, and through Feb. 27 for new vendors.
Howe Meadow is the largest market for Countryside, whose markets serve a three-fold purpose: to provide farmers and food producers with a viable direct-to-consumer sales outlet; to connect consumers with the diversity and quality of locally grown and prepared foods; and to create a space for community interaction and engagement.
Vendor applications are available at countrysidefoodandfarms.org/eat-how-to-become-a-vendor. Applications of particular interest this season are: diversified organic vegetable farms, diversified fruit farms, grass-fed and pastured meats, naturally fermented pickled products and locally sourced value-added, baked goods and prepared food.
Countryside’s markets collectively serve over 80 local farmers, food businesses and artists. Since 2014, total vendor revenue has exceeded $1 million dollars annually.
Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow (Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 4040 Riverview Road in Peninsula) will open on May 2 and will continue every Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon, through Oct. 31. Select market days will feature holiday celebrations and seasonal highlights.
The market also includes weekly live music, seasonal market-sourced cooking demonstrations, a customer loyalty program and Countryside Kids, a popular food and agriculture-focused children’s activity series presented by Spring Garden Waldorf School. The market is a Zero Waste event, offering a reusable bag program and compost drop-off.
Countryside’s markets feature local produce, meats and other items, as well as prepared products, with preference given to those produced with locally sourced ingredients. They are curated for quality and to balance product diversity, as well as supply and demand. Competition for available spaces is high, thus all that apply may not be accepted, according to the organization.
All of Countryside’s markets accept SNAP and offer Produce Perks, a nutrition incentive that matches up to $20 of SNAP withdrawals for the purchase of fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. For info about Countryside’s food access programs, visit countrysidefoodandfarms.org/SNAP.