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SANDUSKY, OH – New Downtown Sandusky Farmers’ Market to be Held on Friday Afternoons

May 24, 2010

Sandusky, Ohio – Beginning Friday, June 4 and continuing weekly through October 29, Sandusky Farmers’ Market will be an ongoing downtown event from 3p.m. to 6p.m. located in the south end of the parking lot on the corner of West Market Street and Jackson Street. Downtown businesses, residents and seasonal visitors will have the opportunity to purchase the freshest, regionally grown produce from local farms and orchards before the rush of their weekend events. Value-added products and cottage goods like jams, jellies, and salsas along with homemade baked goods will also be available from featured vendors.

Doug Hildebrand of Old Milan Canal Farm displaying a young red potato plant at his farm in Milan, OH. Doug's farm will supply top quality produce at the Friday market. photo: Joshua B. Pribanic

“We are very excited to be able to make the Sandusky Farmers’ Market available to everyone who might be getting off work or picking up their kids from school,” says co-manager Joshua Pribanic of the Erie County Coalition for Local Resources (ECCLR). “They can get set up for their picnics and cookouts while restaurants can plan their menus knowing they are sustaining our region’s farmers. They are a valuable part of our local economy.”

Several of the downtown eateries are looking forward to using produce directly from the market on their summer menus. Restaurant owner Chef Cesar Avallone of Zinc Brasserie and the new Crush Wine Bar plans to use the palette of the season in specials from week to week.

“We’ve always made an effort to feature fresh produce from local growers on our menu. In creating an atmosphere that downtown Sandusky can truly be proud of, supporting the farmers’ market with our own businesses makes perfect sense,” states Chef Avallone.

“Why not save on the shipping and packaging by buying direct from a local grower?” Scott McCune, owner of Water Street Bar & Grille, explains. “We are very fortunate to live in a region of the country where we have access to the variety of food available seasonally. Buying local is a fundamental way to keep capital circulating here.”

Trent Beard, owner of Mr. Smith’s Coffee House, is also anticipating the benefits of the Sandusky Farmers’ Market. “We use fresh produce on a number of different menu items, making this a great fit for us. This market will be another great addition to the downtown.”

While traditionally the area’s farmers’ markets only run between five and six months during the peak of the season, a number of Erie and Ottawa county farmers can produce up to ten months during the year. Because of the “lake effect” that creates a microclimate off of the north coast, growers can extend their production with greenhouses and high tunnel hoop houses.

With this element in mind, a primary goal of the ECCLR is to create enough demand for locally grown produce, cottage goods and locally raised meats to open a year round market located within Sandusky’s Downtown Historic District. All proceeds from this seasonal market will be invested towards turning this ambition into a reality.

For directions and more information on growers, produce availability, volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, please visit the website. Sandusky Farmers’ Market is also on Facebook and Twitter. If you are a grower or vendor interested in participating in the market, please contact Joshua at 419-508-8779 or email at eriefresh@gmail.com. The operations manual and contract agreement form is available for download on the website.

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