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Issue Date: June 2009


Off To Market

Blue Pike Farm
A roadside stand with aspirations of becoming a full-fledged market, what makes Blue Pike Farm special is its location. Carl Skalak, a photographer turned farmer, turned an empty St. Clair neighborhood lot into a verdant, eye-appealing, one-acre, urban farm. Produce is harvested on-site, and Skalak specializes in unuTremont farmers marketsual and seasonal heirloom varieties such as Japanese hybrid Suhyo long cucumbers, golden zucchini and Cherokee purple tomatoes. He also throws a lot of on-farm parties, food fests and culinary celebrations. 900 E. 72nd St., between St. Clair and I-90; Thu 4 - 7 p.m., June 11-Oct. 29; (216) 373-9461, blue. pike.farm@gmail.com

Tremont Farmers Market
Urban farmers and community activists founded this small, up-and-coming, producers-only market at the heart of Tremont — and it shows. It’s got a grassroots spirit and laid back, spontaneous feel. Formerly held on Sundays, the change to midweek is meant to attract more farmers and an after-work crowd of shoppers. The grassy expanse of Lincoln Park, with its big shade trees, gazebo and playground, is a nice spot to hang out and hear some music after stocking up on salad stuff and sweet corn. At Lincoln Park, along West 14th Street between Kenilworth and Starkweather avenues, Cleveland; Tue 4:30 - 7:30 p.m., June 16-Oct. 20; (216) 575-0920, tremontfarmersmarket.com

Coit road marketCoit Road Market

This year-round, urban facility attracts an eclectic group of patrons, including foodies from nearby Bratenahl, Eastern European immigrants and folks from the neighborhood. This granddaddy of local farmers markets began as a growers cooperative and has been at this location since 1932. Nine years ago, when participation was at an all-time low, a spunky group of neighborhood preservationists formed a nonprofit organization to revive it. A metal roof provides protection from the elements, and garage doors roll up to create an open-air space. The number of vendors varies depending on the season and day of the week, but there arNorth unione typically 15 to 25 sellers. 15000 Woodworth Road, East Cleveland; Wed 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., April-Dec., ; Sat 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. and Mon (as of July 13) 4 - 8 p.m., year round; (216) 249-5455, coitmarket.org

North Union Farmers Market at Shaker Square

Eighty vendors line both sides of the rapid tracks that run through Shaker Square, filling two blocks with their tables and tents. Amish granola, farm-raised fish and handmade pasta are among the more unusual items found here. This is the original North Union market, which began in 1995 and now operates six certified producer-only markets throughout Greater Cleveland. Watch out for pedestrian traffic jams caused by huddles of regulars and slow-moving families with toddlers in tow. Shaker Square, Cleveland; Sat 8 a.m. - noon, mid-April-Dec.; (216) 751-7656, northunionfarmersmarket.org

Kamm’s Corners Farmers Market

Kamms cornersThere’s a friendly, corner-tavern feel to this market, which transforms a municipal parking lot into a bustling bazaar. The mouth-watering smell of sausage on the grill, courtesy of Rego’s Supermarket, fills the air. Kids can ride a horse-drawn wagon around the neighborhood while parents take in a yoga demo or a gardening talk. New this season, patrons can use credit and debit cards to purchase tokens accepted by all 30 market vendors. Municipal parking lot at West 168th Street and Lorain Avenue, Cleveland; Sun 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., June 7-Oct. 25; (216) 526-3803, kammscorners.com
 
Countryside Farmers Market at Howe Meadow
A concert venue and special-events site, this spot within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park features roughly 40 market vendors set up in a field surrounded by woods. It’s worth a trip just for the scenery. For a full day of pleasure, buy picnic fixings, store the rest of your purchases in a cooler in the car, and hike one of the many park trails. This is one of two producers-only markets run by the Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy — the other is in Akron at Stan Hywet Hall. 4040 Riverview Road, Peninsula; Sat 9 a.m. - noon, May 30-Oct. 31;(330) 657-2538, cvcountryside.org

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