Monday, September 19th, 2022

Sunny skies for farmers' market

Save the date: Saturday is last market of season

By Erin Gardner
Photo by Leslie Gartrell/The Daily Standard

The youngest helper at Get Fresh Stay Fresh, Wapakoneta, helps sell a variety of pumpkins during Saturday's Celina Farmers' Market.

CELINA - Sunny skies are forecasted for the last Celina Farmers' Market of the season set for 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at the Mercer County Fairgrounds.
A steady stream of visitors can still shop for a variety of fresh produce, goat milk soaps, baked goods, soy candles and other items at the market, which will conclude its 16th year before beginning anew next May.
"This season started a little bit slower than normal, but now we're up to 29 registered vendors," certified market manager Suzanne Montgomery said. "Of course, the number of vendors picks up as the season progresses because the produce is ready to harvest."
Montgomery said the market has attracted new vendors, including a mobile coffee truck, a soy candle maker and a custom engraving vendor.
"We have four different meat vendors this year and our winery is back," Montgomery said. "We're trying to get more involved with the FFA chapters and 4-H."
To incorporate more FFA chapters, the market has a vendor who is an FFA member and just graduated from Fort Recovery High School. Her plan after high school graduation is to become a producer and she's growing hydroponics in her greenhouse, Montgomery said.
Several Parkway FFA students raised 450 mums and sold them at the market for two weeks as a senior project. They will be at the last market on Saturday to paint pumpkins with kids for free. The Celina FFA decorated cookies with kids the weekend before, she said.
In addition to vendors, the market hosts free activities for children.
"(The activities) are hosted by individuals, organizations and small businesses, (they) have been so generous to volunteer their time and their materials," Montgomery said. "I think because of that, we're getting a lot of the young families back. A lot of them were not there last summer or the summer before because of COVID-19, which is totally understandable. We've had as many as 70 kids for the two hours (the event) runs from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Generally, we have between 50 and 70 kids who come for those activities."
Montgomery said 22 of the 29 registered vendors will be at the market on Saturday. The market will also be customer appreciation day, where vendors will prepare treats and samples for customers as a thank you.
Photo by Leslie Gartrell/The Daily Standard

Above, a family tours a row of vendors selling bread mixes, honey, fresh meat and produce, baked goods and more at the Celina Farmers' Market

By shopping local, individuals have the chance to learn where their produce and other goods are coming from while also supporting the economy, Montgomery said.
"For produce, it's especially noticeable because the things are coming directly from the farm to the market, so you're avoiding any kind of chemicals that are required for transportation," she said. "You know the farmers you're buying from…so you can ask any questions about how things are raised or how to prepare the things or how to select it when it's ready. All of the baked goods are home prepared and they all have to be very carefully listed for ingredients. Everybody is approved by the health department if they're selling food."
To attract new vendors, the market hosted an open house in August and September where people who wanted to try selling their product could come with no pre-registration and no fee.
"They just showed up on that Saturday morning for a space assignment," Montgomery said. "They did have to meet the criteria of handmade, homegrown or home prepared in order to sell."
Montgomery said 15 people came in August and two signed on to be full-time vendors. A total of 14 people came in September.
For more information on the Celina Farmers' Market, including a list of vendors, visit their website at or visit their Facebook or Instagram pages.
Subscriber and paid story on this date
Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
Area boys golf teams gathered at the Mercer County Elks on Saturday to compete in the 15th annual Jordan Moeller Memorial Invitational.