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Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 | 2 comments

Canton Farmers’ Market: Locally Grown, Locally Made

Canton Farmers’ Market: Locally Grown, Locally Made

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BLTs, grilled corn on the cob, peach crisp, cool cucumber salad…the best summertime eats start with locally-grown, farm-fresh fruits & veggies. And in Canton, we have an abundance of local growers and producers right here in the “neighborhood.”

Last summer, I wrote about Countryside Farmers’ Market in Peninsula, Ohio. It’s one of my faves: a huge market with 50+ diverse vendors, food trucks, and live entertainment. If you haven’t been, it’s definitely worth a visit. Sometimes, though, my Saturday schedule simply doesn’t allow for a 2+ hour excursion.

Canton Farmers’ Market, now in its 11th season, is a lovely alternative just a short drive from my house in downtown Canton, Ohio. With around 25 vendors each week, it’s smaller by comparison to Countryside, or Cleveland’s massive North Union Market in Shaker Square, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it. In fact, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the quality, variety, and ‘well-roundedness’ of the vendors. It’s only open to local growers and producers, so if a product’s not grown or made locally, it can’t be sold at the market. {Translation = you won’t find avocados or citrus fruits.}

On a recent June visit, several local growers offered an early-season assortment of lettuces, onions, rhubarb, beets & radishes, and sweet strawberries. I bought two heads of organic lettuce {still covered in dirt – love that!} and green onions for a whopping $2.50. {TIP: If you’re slow to rise on Saturdays like me, expect some great deals during the market’s last hour.} Now that it’s late July and crops are finally getting some warmer temps, produce is in high-volume and should stay that way through the fall.

What may surprise you, however, is the amount of non-produce goods for sale. It’s amazing how much of your weekly shopping can be completed at just 20-some-odd tents. Farm-fresh brown eggs – check. Grassfed beef & all natural chicken – check. Biscotti, cupcakes, & quick breads – check. Vinegar & flavored syrups – check. Herbs & flowers – check. All-natural bath & body products – check. My gosh, you’ll even find homemade pet treats and sustainable {& fashionable} handbags and accessories.

Among my must-stop stops:

The ‘syrup guy': I’m completely addicted to Simple Gourmet Syrups, and my cocktails have reached ‘mixologist’ levels of awesomeness since I discovered this brand. Lavender-vanilla martinis {made with lavender syrup} & spicy margaritas {made with jalapeno-lime syrup} are two of my favorite new recipes. Next up: experimenting with the jalapeno-lime syrup drizzled over these chicken wings.

Fox Family Farms: They bring an artfully-arranged bounty of gorgeous produce, jams, and baked goods, week after week. Even at Taste of Canton, where they did a little Farmers’ Market preview in mid-May, they brought a full display of early-season veggies and other goodies.

Diengie bags and accessories: Made from recycled burlap coffee sacks, these ladies have taken an object that started for strictly utilitarian purposes and transformed it into something useful and cool. Plus? You don’t have to sacrifice style – the look of ‘coffee sack graphics’ is interesting {to me at least} so you’ll look chic at the market {or anywhere, really} with a repurposed tote bag. I happen to have a bag of theirs from a few years back; I can hardly think of a time when I’ve been out and someone *hasn’t* complimented me on it.

The ‘egg guy': Last I checked,  a dozen brown eggs at the Big Bird runs just under $4.00. At KT Eggs, you’re getting a great deal at just $2.00/dozen AND you know exactly when and where the eggs came from. Stock up on all natural chicken sausage and various chicken pieces, too.

Sweets: The market is teeming with sweets – from pies and cakes to quick breads and cookies. Don’t leave without a fresh sweet-something. You can’t go wrong with a pie from Troyer’s or cookies from Biscotti by the Bunch. It’ll balance out just fine with those veggies you just bought. :)

Get a complete list of vendors here.

While you’re at the market, keep an ear out for live entertainment {every week, all season long} as well as ‘extras’ like kids-crafting or a visit from Aultman’s WOW health & wellness van on select weekends.

Canton Farmers Market
Every Saturday in downtown Canton
4th NW & McKinley
June 21 – October 18
8:00 to 11:30 am
www.cantonfarmersmarket.com

 

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2 Comments

  1. Do you have a recipe for the spicy margarita? Or can you tell me what put in it besides the syrup? Thanks!!!!

    • Hi Jess! I’m bad about ‘eyeballing’ recipes, but this is close:
      2 ounces tequila
      1 ounces lime juice
      1 ounce Grand Marnier
      1/2 to 1 ounce jalapeno simple syrup (depending how sweet and spicy you like it)
      Mix and serve over ice!

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