It was great to get back into fresh, local produce and farm products, and back into the core of what this column is about, by visiting the Lettuce Eat Well Farmers’ Market in Cheviot on Friday.
Lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed greens, fresh herbs and green garlic were in season, and available from as many as three different vendors. I chose green garlic and mixed greens from Sacred Grove Farm, one of the newer vendors there, and kale, onions, and herbs from Reidel’s Urban Farm.
Reidel’s Urban Farm is part of the Enright Ridge Urban Eco-Village community. This community, located in Price Hill, is working on planet-friendly initiatives on all the major fronts. People in the community share a common goal to reduce their impact on the environment around them. Some live nearby to take advantage of the wooded surroundings, and use the readily available mass transit to get around. Others work to rehab housing in the area or as part of their share obligation for the Enright CSA, which offers both working and non-working memberships.
Only one vendor offered another important spring vegetable: asparagus. That was offered by Romans Family Farm of Vevay, Indiana. I stopped to talk with Mel Farnsley, one of the organizers of the market, about the difficulties of growing asparagus, and we agreed that it’s not for small, start-up farms.
Asparagus is a perennial, and it has to become established for two, or better yet, three, years before it can be harvested. Since local asparagus is not readily available, I bought two. I also bought spinach, sweet potatoes, and an heirloom tomato plant from Romans, which also offers the Eating Seasonally CSA.
Mel and Mary Hutten, the market’s other organizer, wanted me to remind folks that the market is now permanently located at Cheviot United Methodist Church, 3820 Westwood Northern Boulevard, and no longer in Harvest Home Park. It also accepts EBT. For a rundown of their Summer of Sustainability events, click at the bottom of this review.
Gypsy Grove’s main offerings were teas. I’m not much of tea drinker, though tea does give me warm memories of my grandmother. I couldn’t help but notice the wonderful herbs and spices in each of the teas, which were yerba mate, oolong, green, and white. They will offer herbs and produce later in the season.
Another one of my personal preferences is to have a tin of lip balm at all times (to the chagrin of my wife!). I purchased this from the line-up of unrefined Shea butter products at Ya Tamu Beauty.
Other vendors at the market were Ora Pottery, Angela’s Homemade Pies (many baked goods, vegan available), ANAO Hummus (loved the black bean and cilantro!), Happy Bungalow (wood carvings, toys and home décor),Tree Hugger Company (natural soaps and personal care products), Tutu’s Unique Treats, and Yellow Creek Weavers ( rugs created from repurposed fabrics). Jo the Jam Lady is a vendor who was not present for my visit.
Overall, I was very happy with this market. It can only be improved by offering meat and eggs as well.