MOUNT VERNON — This year the Mount Vernon Farmers Market will open a month earlier than in previous years. Opening day is set for Saturday, May 2, rain or shine.
The change is due, in part, because of the success of the market. But it is also designed to open up a market to some early produce that is generally past its peak by the time June rolls around. Cool-season vegetables and bedding plants will be featured on the May dates.
“We have quite a few people who are really excited about this,” said market manager Troy Cooper. “It [being successful] is one reason why we added the extra dates. And last year we had people who had their own greenhouse to start their own vegetables. And they had dozens of extra plants. So this was a way for those people to sell their excess plants.
“And in a good year, it’s the time that some radishes and some of your peas and early lettuces and stuff like that are ready and at their peak. So the early dates are to try and get those at the peak of their market.”
Other than the early start date, Cooper said there are no real changes to the operation or vendor requirements this year. New vendors should seek out Cooper to receive a spot to set up, as established vendors have precedence on booth location. A vendor participation agreement is available in .pdf format on the Knox County OSU Extension Web site, http://knox.osu.edu/horticulture/mount-vernon-farmers-market-on-the-square/farmer-s-market.
An up-to-date list of labeling requirements for cottage industry products is also listed on the Web site.
For new vendors, the extension office will offer quality assurance training Tuesday, May 26; produce vendors will be from 7 to 8 p.m., and baked goods vendors from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the OSU Extension Office. Only first-time vendors need to attend. There is no fee for the training sessions.
The market will run each Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon, and will run weekly through Oct. 31. The Mount Vernon Farmers Market is located on Public Square in Mount Vernon.
Information is available on the extension Web site or by calling 397-0401.