My normal Saturday morning routine involves a trip to the North Market Farmer’s Market. The convenience and familiarity make this routine comfortable, but every so often I break out of my usual pattern, tempted to explore other farmers markets. Last year I visited Granville and Athens farmers markets, some of the smaller weekday markets and made it as far afield as the Union Square Greenmarket in New York. This weekend’s exploration was more modest, a mere four miles up High Street to Clintonville.
Each farmers market has its own charms and while there is some repetition between the markets in Columbus each has its own unique vendors. The Clintonville Farmers market is larger than the North Market and lists about 50 vendors on its website. They weren’t all in attendance yesterday and I didn’t count but it was probably around 40. The market stretches out on the High Street sidewalk around Clintonville Commons (North of North Broadway) and the coffee at Global Gallery is an attraction early on a Saturday morning. I rode my bike so I didn’t have to worry about parking and the market was bustling by the time I arrived by 9.30am.
It was easy to tell the season looking at the produce stalls full of strawberries, rhubarb and asparagus. There were also lots of salad greens, radishes, green onions, seedlings and flowers.
I was jealous of all of the wonderful bakery stalls that they have at the Clintonville market and I couldn’t resist buying a loaf from Daniel at la Petite Boulangerie.
Equally hard to resist was the grass fed beef from Long Meadow’s Farm. I tasted some of their ground beef at Granville Market last year and every time I taste it I’m amazed at how flavorful it is.
One of the things that’s hard about visiting a new market are the competing urges to buy the first thing you see that looks really good or wait to scope out the whole market before you make a purchase. By waiting you run the risk of them selling out of x while you wandered around assessing your options, but by purchasing the first one you see, you may not get the best price or quality. Being a regular at a market means that not only are the range of vendors and the layout familiar, but you get to know the individual producers and who you like best for certain items. While I was on new territory, Clintonville Market had helpful signage to introduce each vendor and I appreciated being able to see where each vendor was from.
I enjoyed seeing the Jacob lambs wool at Cota Farms. My uncle and aunt used to keep Jacob sheep and its rare to see them in the States. Angie Adams was happy to chat to me about their sheep and even showed me photos. They will have lamb at the market in a couple of weeks.
I arrived home hungry with a full pannier and a bulging backpack. Our post-market brunch was strawberry smoothies made with Elizabeth Telling Farm strawberries and a sandwich made with Daniel’s bread, Thurn’s smoked bacon and 5 year old smoked cheddar and some spicy lettuce mix from Meadow Rise Farm.