MARIETTA - Connoisseurs of fresh, local produce don't have to wait until Saturday to shop at the River City Farmers Market.
Now through summer, the market will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays outside across from the cattle barn at the Washington County Fairgrounds.
"That gives me a little bit more free time to go," said Devola resident Barbara Ward, a regular market customer. "I love being able to get the fresh plants and the herbs and the bread."
Photo by Robb DeCamp
Deanna Shuler and her two sons, Austin, 3, and Avery, 3 months, enjoy the morning at the farmers market at the Washington County Fairgrounds Saturday.
Attendance on Wednesdays usually ranges from 50 to 150, said Lynn Davis, vice president of the market and marketing chairwoman, drawing folks from the Marietta Aquatic Center as well as people on their way home from work.
The weekday sessions started two years ago as part of the Get Fit Marietta program, and the market is continuing to offer them this year.
"We just learned from those two years how much benefit people got from (having) the fresh produce two times a week," Davis said.
What: River City Farmers Market.
When: 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 29, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays year-round.
Where: Washington County Fairgrounds; outside, across from the cattle barn on Wednesdays; inside the junior fair building on Saturdays.
Those stopping by the market Wednesday can expect to find lettuce, greens, radishes, cauliflower, asparagus and onions, along with tomato, broccoli, cauliflower and pepper plants for sale. The emphasis during the week will be mainly on produce and some baked goods, with more crafts available on Saturdays, Davis said.
Last year, the market shifted to selling only fresh, local produce.
"You don't bring shipped-in stuff to our market. We won't let you in," said market President Gary Smith. "Everything is locally grown. And that's within a 50-mile ... radius."
Davis said that not only makes for healthier food for shoppers, it keeps money in the local community.
Having the market open a second day each week also allows farmers to deliver even fresher produce, Smith said.
"It gives them a better chance to be able to pick it at the right time," he said.
Ward said she tries to visit the market weekly but seldom goes longer than a month without shopping there. She appreciates the health and local business aspects of the market, as well as the variety they offer.
"It's great to have them in this area," she said.