Local farmers’ markets merge to single location
Published: Monday, January 14, 2013
Updated: Monday, January 14, 2013 22:01
In December, the Talawanda and Oxford Farmers’ markets merged and all vendors will join the Uptown location. The merger was announced by Larry Slocum, president of the Oxford Farmer’s Market Council Dec. 4, 2012 to the Oxford City Council. Slocum celebrated the merger at the meeting as he played his guitar and passed out local produce to the councilmembers.
The merger is the result of a change in the Talawanda market’s rules, according to Slocum. Since the original market split in 2004 the farmers’ market uptown and the farmers’ market on Tallawanda Rd. competed in Oxford.
“The Uptown market has always been interested in merging with the Talawanda market, but the Talawanda market had a rule that only venders who lived in the Talawanda school district were allowed to work there,” Slocum said.
The Talawanda market has since dropped this rule, allowing the merger between the two markets. Joining the Uptown market will be four produce venders, three farmers, one baker and four local honey venders, according to Slocum.
“Having two farmers’ markets in a small town such as Oxford just didn’t make any sense,” Slocum said. “Now, both residents and students can do all of their shopping at one location.”
Miami University sophomore Caitlyn Threadgill frequently visits the farmers’ market.
“I’ve always loved going to the farmers’ markets, and I began to like different stands and vendors from the two different markets,” Threadgill said. “That would be great if they combined forces!”
Alan Kyger, economic development director for the City of Oxford, said the merger will also have a positive impact on local businesses.
“One market operated in the [Talawanda] High School parking lot with no other retail businesses nearby,” Kyger said. “The other market operated in the center of the Uptown business district. Having all the market customers in the Uptown district will be good for the surrounding retail businesses. As market customers visit the market they can also visit all the great retail shops and restaurants nearby.”
In addition to the merger, Slocum revealed that local farmer Brian Wolford received a $7,000 grant from the National Soil Conservation Service to build a greenhouse.
“In receiving this grant for a greenhouse, we can cultivate produce such as strawberries and peppers out of season,” Wolford said. “Also, the enclosed structure allows for us to cut back on the use of fungicide and pesticide on the crops.”
Oxford’s farmers’ market, which was ranked No. 2 in Cincinnati Magazine’s “Top 5 Summer Farmers Markets,” has nowhere to go but up following the merger, according to Kyger.
“Oxford has one of the best farmers’ markets in the greater Cincinnati area,” Kyger said. “Now, the best is only going to get better.”
The new Uptown farmers’ market will be open at the parking lot on East Park Place from 9:30 am until noon on every 3rd Saturday of each month through April.