As you discover what strength you can draw from your community in this world from which it stands apart, look outward as well as inward. Build bridges instead of walls. - Sonia Sotomayor
The presence of any farmers’ market in a community is like the ripple effect of a pebble tossed in a pond.
With a front row seat to the farmers’ market each season, I've realized that what gives a farmers’ market its depth of flavor is that, besides the selection of market fare, a farmers’ market’s success is the aggregate result of subtle, exceptional moments that just happen.
Smiles. Friends running into old friends. Children. Impromptu Conversations. Familiar faces. Rascals, bikes, and strollers. Random acts of kindness. Families. Dogs. Enthusiasm. Enjoyment. Spontaneous moments. Genuine laughter. Hands outstretched for hugs and handshakes.
In a very heartwarming way, each season, our farmers’ market becomes a community – it’s a familiar gathering place that is more than a place to pick up this week’s ingredients – it’s a place where people from all walks of life
connect over the most basic things they have in common.
Our farmers’ market is a place where customers shake the hand of the
person who raised and made their food.
Our farmers’ market is a place where vendors travel to market with fresh-picked, seasonal produce, nourished by Ohio rains and grown under the Ohio sun, in rich, fertile Ohio soil.
Our farmers’ market is a place to buy artisan foods made with care, skill,
James Beard once said, "Food is our common ground, a universal experience." Food that makes its way home from a farmers' market brings a narrative to the table - food served with a good story seems richer in flavor, and the meal more memorable.
It really does take a village! This market is an entirely volunteer effort and opens for business each season with the help of a lot of people:
Special thanks go to Church of the Messiah United Methodist, the City of Westerville, Doug Winbigler, the Staff at Amish Originals Furniture Co. (especially Stewie!), Mike Beekman, Gary Gardiner, Westerville Public Library, Westerville Electric Division, Westerville Police Division, Westerville Water Division, Gene Hulbert, Rose Morgan, Phil Pelok, Brenda Boyles, Cortney Reed, Charity Monroe and Our Day, Westerville Visitors and Convention Bureau, Tatjana and Jason Brown of Meza, and the people who live and work in our community: Westerville, Ohio.
If you have a special need, have a question, or need some help, ask any vendor to point me out!
With gratitude and good thoughts for a most enjoyable, prosperous market season.
See you at the market!
The Uptown Westerville
We chose a ginkgo leaf to represent the Uptown Westerville Farmers' Market. The City of Westerville planted ginkgo trees along State Street in Uptown Westerville and as they grow and mature they will become a distinctive presence along State St.
The ginkgo represents simplicity, endurance, prosperity, hope, resilience, peace, and longevity. Ginkgo trees are among the oldest trees on the planet (millions of years) and have survived untold earthly disasters.
For ten years, Market Wednesday vendor, BIldsten Landscape, created and provided the beautiful hanging baskets and flower pots that have become a hallmark of Uptown Westerville in the summer time.
UPTOWN WESTERVILLE FARMERS' MARKET
This market has a great group of experienced vendors, all of whom had to start somewhere!
With the Market Vendor Mentor Program, people who are new to farming, artisan foods, and farmers' markets can enter an atmosphere that will give them a step-up on the ins-and-outs of coming to market. Participants have an opportunity to learn by immersion for a season - diving into an active market and learning from on-the-fly experiences, customers, and veteran vendors.
Veteran Market Wednesday vendors can nominate a new vendor for this program.
The Uptown Westerville Farmers Market supports W.A.R.M. - the Westerville Area Resource Ministry.
For several years, WARM and Market Wednesday teamed up so farm fresh, healthy foods could be available to everyone in the Westerville City School District, no matter the need, creating the WARM Fresh Green Program.
Thanks to the generosity of the community, WARM has commercial-grade refrigeration, so plentiful supplies of fresh produce and foods are available to clients at WARM and the Fresh Green Program was retired in 2013.
No one makes reaching out to a help organization a life goal. And, Westerville Area Resource Ministry is an outreach and empowerment resource that steps up to the plate every day to help people in a respectful and dignified way to help themselves. As they say, "WARM is a hand up, not a hand out."
Home-grown. Home-made. All Ohio.
"I'm not here...."
The guy who walks around the market, camera in hand and equipment in tow, is Gary Gardiner a retired hard news photographer for the Associated Press (and Westerville resident). Gary has a passion for his art and takes some pretty incredible slice-of-life photographs around Westerville, including activity at the Uptown Westerville Farmers' Market.
Cops and Kids day is a free parking/free admission family-friendly event that features a gathering of law enforcement and safety forces from all over Ohio. Kids can interact with police, mounted police, bike unit, K9 unit, and rescue personnel and up-close and personally check out cruisers, DARE cars, and helicopters.
There's a lot to do on Cops and Kids Day including free refreshments, activities, demos, and the popular dunk-a-cop tank.
It's a great day for kids of all ages.
Church of the Messiah, UM presents The Front Porch on the patio at 74 N. State, under the white tent just north of the market lot. Take a load off, have a free ice cold lemonade or water, or visit the restroom. Big thanks to Phil Pelok and Gene Hulbert!
(Our Gracious Host)