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Farm tours, homesteading classes and markets immerse Columbus visitors

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Renowned for its dynamic food scene, Columbus' proximity to rich, prolific farms provides food purveyors with access to the freshest locally grown ingredients. Beyond enjoying locally grown produce at local restaurants, travelers to Columbus can also visit farmers markets well into the fall to sample and even bring home fresh fruits, vegetables, honey, flowers and more. Some of the region's farmers invite visitors to come out for a tour, offering an unforgettable opportunity to learn about the best practices for growing, cooking and preserving the most wholesome food.

Just outside Columbus, Jorgensen Farm produces herbs, vegetables, flowers, lamb and more on site and for sale at local markets. Farmer Val Jorgenson educates visitors about the best way to grow herbs and produce, while also demonstrating many ways to use herbs at home in recipes as well as medicinally. Her scheduled farm tours, open houses and other planned events feature local chefs using her organically grown herbs and produce.

With a focus on teaching homesteading, nearby Glass Rooster Cannery cooking school and farm opens its dreamy licensed professional kitchen to visitors. From fermenting sauerkraut and yogurt to baking bread or putting up beans, the farm's gifted chefs, Jeannie Seabrook and Susie Schmidhammer, lead classes in how to can, preserve and cook the region's wonderful produce. Visitors to the sprawling pastoral farm in Sunbury, just 30 minutes northeast of Columbus, can access resources to grow and buy in-season produce, plants and seeds. They can also take a tour, host a dinner or event and purchase canned goods, soup and bread mixes and even art and antiques in the Art Gallery Barn.

The historic North Market is Columbus’ true public market. With more than 30 permanent merchants and dozens more rotating farmers and vendors at the weekly Farmers Market Saturday, travelers could spend hours eating, exploring and roaming. The minute visitors arrive, they're welcomed by the buzz of the market's colorful sights and sounds. The freshest produce, meat, seafood, ethnic prepared foods and more are offered by the region's top vendors. There are sweet treats such as Jeni's Ice Cream, artisan baked goods and cheeses and handmade chocolates, as well as rich, locally roasted coffee. Located in downtown Columbus’ Short North Arts District, the North Market is open daily. Farmers Market Saturday features annual, perennial, herb and vegetable plants; fresh produce; grass-fed cheeses; organic honey; fresh flowers and more and runs from 8 a.m. until the farmers sell out.

In Olde Town East, a few blocks from the city center, Franklin Park Conservatory holds a market where visitors can browse a wide selection of local, seasonal vegetables and fruits, meat and dairy and baked goods. In addition to fruits and vegetables, this one features venders selling locally made soaps and candles. Guests are invited to grab dinner from one of the onsite local food trucks and enjoy the sights, aroma and setting of Franklin Park Conservatory, a premier botanical landmark and cultural attraction.Visit this market Wednesdays, June 5-Sept. 4, 3:30–6:30 p.m.

Pearl Market is a quick walk from anywhere in downtown Columbus. Tucked into the alleyways between Broad, High, Gay and Third Streets, Pearl Market energizes downtown on Tuesdays and Fridays, 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m., mid-May through October. This unique urban market delivers live music and a merchant mix that reflects Columbus' rich cultural diversity, including a wide array of locally grown produce, gorgeous hand-crafted jewelry and delicious food, while providing a retail incubator for local entrepreneurs. Major credit cards are accepted at the Pearl Market Tent in exchange for tokens that may be used at any of the vendors.

Whether they are tucked away in an urban alley, in plain sight on a small town’s Main Street or conveniently placed in a suburban neighborhood, more than two dozen farmers markets can be found throughout the area. Just a few that welcome visitors include:

Hilliard Farm Market – Tuesdays, June 3-Sept. 9, 4-7 p.m.

Bexley Farmers Market – Thursdays, 4-7 p.m.

Clintonville Farmers Market – Saturdays, April 26-Nov. 22, 9 a.m. to noon; Wednesdays, June 18-Aug. 20, 4-7 p.m.

Delaware Farmers Market – Wednesdays, May 24-Oct. 25, 3-6 p.m.; Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Dublin Farmers Market – Wednesdays, May 7-Sept. 24, 3-6 p.m.

Easton Farmers Market – Thursdays, June 5-Aug. 28, 4-7 p.m.

400 Farmers Market – Second and Fourth Saturday of every month, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Granville Farmers Market –Saturdays, May-Oct, 8:30-noon; Tuesdays June-Sept., 3-6 p.m.

Grove City Farmers Market – Saturdays, July 12-Sept. 13, 8 a.m. to Noon

Jefferson Community Park Farmers Market – Saturdays, June-Sept., 9 a.m. to noon

Lancaster Farmers Market – Saturdays, May 3-Oct. 25, 8 a.m. to noon; Tuesdays, May 26-Aug 26, 3-6 p.m.

New Albany Farmers Market – Thursdays, June 28-Sept. 13, 4-7 p.m.

Powell Farmers Market – Saturdays May 10-Oct. 11, 9 a.m. to noon

Reynoldsburg Farmers Market –Thursdays, June 5-Aug. 28, 3-6 p.m.

Sunbury Farmers Market – Saturdays, May-Oct., 9 a.m. to noon

Uptown Westerville Farmers Market – Wednesdays, May-Oct., 3-6 p.m.

Worthington Farmers Market – Saturdays, May-Oct., 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Worthington Winter Indoor Market – Saturdays, Nov.-April, 9 a.m. to

Columbus is a city unlike any other. Vibrant and alive, Ohio’s capital is known for its open attitude, smart style and entrepreneurial spirit. Columbus' uncommon blend of neighborhoods, arts and culinary experiences, events, attractions and accommodations are made unforgettable by its diversity of outgoing locals who warmly welcome visitors. Free travel guides, maps, online booking and detailed information are available at www.ExperienceColumbus.com or 866.397.2657(866.EXP.COLS). Visitor information is also available on Facebook: facebook.com/ExperienceColumbus and facebook.com/ColumbusFoodScene, Twitter: @ExpCols andPinterest.

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