Countryside Farmers’ Market is back at Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Howe Meadow. Despite market adjustments to adhere to COVID safety guidelines, the markets continue to engage their supporters by leveraging the use of virtual events. One upcoming example is on Sunday, Aug.16, Countryside will join forces with Chase the Flavor to bring Countryside’s Annual Tomato Tasting to market shoppers virtually.
Pre-COVID, Countryside farmers’ markets provided an array of extracurricular activities like on-site cooking demonstrations, children’s activities and seasonal food events. Today, Countryside has had to shift the market model to adhere to the safety guidelines from Gov. DeWine and the CDC to keep the community safe, while still allowing shoppers to walk around the market connecting directly with the producers of their food (from a safe social distance, of course). Despite the changes to a more utilitarian market experience, Countryside continues spreading its mission and educating shoppers by embracing the use of social media and virtual events.
“Countryside’s Tomato Tasting is an annual tradition,” said Tracy Emrick, Countryside CEO. “Not only is it the busiest market day of the year, it is a fun, tangible way to let people experience the flavor, beauty and diversity of our food while connecting them to where their food comes from and the importance of that. Cancelling this event because of COVID was just not an option. We just had to get creative to make it happen.”
Chase the Flavor of Tomatoes takes place Sunday, August 16, from 11 a.m. to noon via Zoom. This virtual tomato-tasting event will consist of tasting 10 to 15 different tomato varieties, cooking a tomato recipe with Countryside’s Culinary Intern, and a Q&A with tomato experts Jimmy and Cassondra Myers of Front 9 Farm. On Saturday, Aug. 15, participants will visit the Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow to collect the tomato tasting varieties and recipe ingredients. And on Sunday, everyone will taste, cook and learn together via Zoom. For info about the Virtual Tomato Tasting, visit chasetheflavor-countryside.eventbrite.com/?aff=Press.
Countryside’s markets also accept SNAP and offer Produce Perks, a nutrition incentive that matches up to $25 of SNAP withdrawals for the purchase of fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. For info on SNAP, Produce Perks and other market-based food access programs, visit countrysidefoodandfarms.org/food-access-overview.
For info, visit countrysidefoodandfarms.org/howe-meadow-2/.