Located at the Roy Rogers Esplanade, on Chillicothe Street in Portsmouth, the Main Street Farmer’s Market offers local vendors a place to set up tables and sell their goods. Everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, to delicious baked goods, locally butchered meats and homemade crafts. Vendors pay Main Street a small set-up fee each week and then keep for themselves all the money raised from their sale.
“This is not necessarily a money-making thing (for Main Street). It’s more about promoting downtown,” said Laurel DeAtley of the Main Street Portsmouth Promotions Committee.
If attracting attention to downtown Portsmouth is its goal, the Main Street Farmer’s Market has been very succesful. The Esplanade on Chillicothe Street has been packed with customers every Saturday since the season began on May 21.
“We’ve had good turnouts,” DeAtley said. “Most of the vendors who come all the time are becoming well established and known, and people coming looking for their product.”
Clinton Van Kirk and Sarah Surina are business administration students at Shawnee State University.
“I got the turtle cake,” Van Kirk said, holding up a dark, rich dessert purchased at Janet Justice’s table. “But my classmate is a lot more healthier. She’s getting buttersquash and baby red potatoes.”
In addition to the turtle cakes, Justice, of Piketon, also had sweet rolls, apple and pumpkin pies, pumpkin rolls, and a selection of Splenda deserts for diabetics.
“The cinnamon buns are very popular, because they’re fresh-made every Saturday morning. I get up at 4 a.m. and make the cinnamon buns and the maple walnut pecan butter horns that are very fattening, but very delicious,” she said. “As the season progresses, then we move on from the fruit pies to the pumpkin and more seasonable things.”
Justice also carries a selection of fused glass bottles with popular logos, such as The Ohio State Buckeyes. The bottles are melted and flattened out to use as serving trays or dip dishes.
Sharon Hardyman and her family were also selling at Main Street Farmer’s Market, with a selection of locally raised beef from their family farm. The Hardyman’s have beef patties, ground beef, steaks and roasts.
“We raise our own beef in Minford. There’s no medication or hormones; they’re corn-fed. Then they’re butched in Wellston, at Dave’s Butcher Shop,” she said.
On the cold Saturday morning, Hardyman was dipping out samples of their homemade chili. When the season ends, she said she will still be taking meat orders from her home in Minford. People can call her for orders at 740-820-8436.
There’s still time to find local vendors such as Hardyman and Justice at the Main Street Farmer’s Market, but Saturday is the last day of this season at the Esplanade — from 9 a.m. until noon. After that, the season ends until May 2012, when Farmer’s Market will return at Tracy Park in Portsmouth.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.