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Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Winter Market

Eugene selling produce to happy shoppers

We did a farmers market last Saturday, March 15, the Ides of March. Fortunately no ancient Roman rulers were dispatched at the market.

It was the quietest of the winter markets despite the weather being almost decent. It was a bit below freezing with a thick fog but compared to the heavy snows and very cold, windy weather the other winter markets have had, this was almost nice. But despite the nearly decent weather there was still the fact that Miami University had just started Spring Break and that tends to drain a large percentage of the population of Oxford.

Pia Terranova Selling her incredible artisan breads to hoards of eager customers

That said, we were able to sell a lot of food and made nearly as much as the February market even though we had fewer items to sell. Unlike the last market, we had almost no greens for this market because the voles helped themselves to the spinach under row cover and most of the other greens we have been picking over winter have decided it is spring in the hoop houses and have gone to seed. The winter spring mix was at it's end. We did get several pounds of it for market but that was the last cutting of that bed. Pity, as that also means we go without salad for a bit. We harvested twice as many leeks as the Feb market and sold all but 5 and we had scallions which we did not have at any of the other winter markets.

Seth Filbrun selling organic and pastured meat to a steady line of people

I have been impressed with all the vendors this market brings out in the winter. There are 4 of us growing and selling produce, 2 bread makers, 1 meat seller, 2 soap makers, a potter, a cheese maker and a couple of folks selling a hodgepodge of stuff from eggs to cat toys. There was even a goat in attendance (a kid really). I believe there were ten stalls at this last market. We have a group that is getting good at having things to sell all winter long. This is especially tricky for us produce growers with out using heated greenhouses, which is very expensive. But we have 2 farms, us and Locust Run/Harv Roehling that are very good at season extension and winter growing.

The next, and last, winter market should have more people and a lot more greens as we have been planting a lot of head lettuce (something like 8 different heirlooms), arugula, spinach and spring mix along with radishes and scallions for April. We may also have asparagus and chives, ready to go by than. After that market we start our regular season two weeks later on May 3rd.

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