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Friday, May 12, 2017

It's Farmer's Market Season Again

FTFM Committee members meet to plan for the new and improved 2017 summer season.
It's farmers market season once again, and the Fort Thomas Farmers Market is gearing up to move  outside for another exciting season, bringing new ideas, vendors, committee members and more.

After a successful 2016 season outside at the Fort Thomas Plaza, FTFM moved indoors for a winter indoor market at the Fort Thomas Antiques and Design Center. They'll continue to be outside for the 2017 outdoor season.

"As we all recall, the months of November and December were unseasonably warm as was the winter in general, said Fort Thomas Antiques & Design Center owner Rob Robinson. This impacted overall traffic nationwide for indoor retail and special events such as the winter market.

Those vendors with an established customer base such as Blue Oven Bakery, Breezy Acres Farm, Harmony Acres and Crigger Farms did well.

Overall the winter market was a success for its' first year."

In addition to growth in customer traffic and the number of 2017 vendors, Robinson expects big things going into the future.

"I would hope and expect as we promote the winter market more during the fall months, we will build upon what we created in this first year. There were many days in which Blue Oven sold out all of its' bread, and the other farms sold out of items such as fresh eggs, apples and other items within a few hours," Robinson said.

FTFM's continually growing committee members have been working hard to plan for the 2017 summer season, meeting every other week since January.

FTFM participated in the Earth Day Celebration in Cincinnati this past Saturday promoting our family-friendly market.
What's new for this summer's season?

"It looks like we are going to have a great turn out of our vendors again this year, FTFM Committee Chair Leigh Gorman said, with an emphasis on more participating artisans as well."

As vendors continue to commit - 25 so far, Gorman says they are excited to add four new farmers this year - Scott Farms; Balanced Brilliance, a certified organic farm; Rains & Sun Hilltop Farm and Springcreek Farm, both naturally certified farms.

"This is a wonderful addition to our produce selection, she added. 

Other possibilities are still in the works. This means we will have a larger selection of produce in June. Some of our produce farmers don't join us until July when the corn and tomatoes are ready, so now we will have a larger selection of produce beginning with the first market in June. Of course we can only offer what Mother Nature makes possible, but we'll have MORE of it than ever before at our opening market."

In addition to the regular and long-time vendors FTFM patrons have grown to love, new vendors include Fork and Pie, offering a selection of both savory and sweet homemade goodness; Simple Cultures that sell a line of fermented foods;  Lil's Bagels with their homemade bagels and spreads; and June & Joann's Market Stand, serving up a selection of cupcakes and cake pops along with fresh cut flowers and succulents. And, the list is growing.

Live music has been booked from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday. 

The market also welcomes a new committee member, Robin Lindeman who has scheduled weekly education and free activities for kids, like last year, but better, according to Gorman.

Themes have been assigned to 10 specific weeks like "Opening Day," " Pet Week," "Bug Week," and "Christmas in July," when it is rumored Santa will be in attendance.

"Opening Day" will kick off the season, and the Campbell County Extension Office plans to offer raw veggie samplings for everyone. Maxwell Jump also has donated a free bouncy house to get kids active and excited about summer and the FTFM season.

The FTFM Committee has added a social-media savvy educator vendor, Christy Hannegan that will be providing health-oriented information from her blog "Eat Clean Live Simple."

So, get excited for summer. The Fort Thomas Farmers Market, known as the area's family-friendly farmers market is coming back soon.

This season kicks off on the first Wednesday in June, June 7th, and will continue every Wednesday until October; 3 - 7 p.m in June through September and 3 - 6 p.m. in October, at the Fort Thomas Antiques & Design Center, 90 Alexandria Pike.

For weekly updates, music line-ups, participating food trucks and other activities, you can visit Fort Thomas Farmers Market on Facebook.

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