The Loveland Farmers’ Market has a new site, and this decision comes none too soon for one of the busiest markets around.
The new site, while only steps away from the old one in downtown Loveland, is more convenient to the various parking lots the city provides for visitors to its business district. Parking, while not ample, has been nonetheless available on numerous visits since the opening at the new site this spring. There are also permanent shelters at parts of the site, and trees around others, which provide shade from the sun, important for a market scheduled for 3 PM to 7 PM on Tuesday afternoon. These represent changes from past markets, where shelter, and parking, were scarce.
There are nearly twice as many vendors as there were at the time of the last write-up in 2011, with about half devoted to produce, and other types of food, such as bakers, meat, and take-out, well represented. A summer bounty of tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, and cucumbers was on every farmer’s table.
Despite the success of this market, there has been no shortage of adversity for the market’s vendors over the past year. A report from Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm confirms that the harsh winter hurt farmers growing perennial crops. About 25% of fields there were lost, with oil-producing French lavenders faring the worst. Other types had died back, losing eight to nine years of growth, but were still alive. However, the availability of lavender for sale at the Market was greatly reduced.
This shortage did not stop Rebecca Case, of the Rolling Pen, from offering lavender pound cake, made with Peaceful Acres lavender, alongside her other baked goods. Kimberly Robinson, of Kimmy’s Kupcakes, had lactation cookies to sell with her famous cupcakes.
Peaches were another casualty of cold weather, said Nancy Rice of Rice Family Harvest. She’s been able to deliver some peaches she bought from another farmer to the members of her CSA, but the market requires farmers to grow what they sell there. Still, she’ll have a good crop of transparent Lodi apples for the first time this year. Also new to Rice this year were tomatillos.
Randy Moore, of Webb Valley Farm, has been trying to find ways to avoid predation of his laying hens. He had been using an eggmobile, basically a chicken coop on wheels, so he could rotate the pasture his hens forage in, and still provide some shelter and protection. "That’s not enough," he said, referring to protecting the hens from hawks. "We’ve been building some large A-frames for them. We’ll start to have eggs to sell next week." If all goes well, he’ll expand his flock to 300 hens next year.
It may well benefit the reader to arrive at the Market early for the best selection. The Market takes place on Tuesdays from 3 PM to 7 PM, just off the intersection of West Loveland Avenue and the Little Miami Bike Trail, until the end of October.