Fairfield’s growing farmers market will celebrate its opening with a health-focused event

The city of Fairfield’s 2018 Village Green Farmers Market featured more than 20 vendors every week. PROVIDED
The city of Fairfield’s 2018 Village Green Farmers Market featured more than 20 vendors every week. PROVIDED

Last year was the Fairfield Farmers Market’s biggest yet, and the market manager wants to make 2019 even bigger.

The market enters its fourth year later this month with the inaugural Healthy Family Focus at the Fairfield Village Green Farmers Market, which will highlight ways for people to live healthier lives, said market manager Kari Russo.

One thing Russo will focus on is educating why foods have seasons, even though you can get fruits and vegetables year-round at large chain grocery stores.

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“There is a seasonality to things, and I think we’ve lost that as a community, as a society because everything is so readily available to us,” she said.

The market has wrapped up its indoor market seasons (winter and spring), during which it had 19 booths every two weeks.

The weekly summer market kicks off on June 12, just two weeks after the Healthy Family Focus, and start with nearly two dozen vendors and will top out certain weeks at 26 vendors — for now, Russo said.

“We’re still looking to grow,” she said. “We’re still looking for food vendors.”

On average, several hundred people attended the weekly summer farmers market. The 2018 market averaged 17 booths, doubling what it had in 2017. It reached on some weeks more than 20 vendors but averaged 17 vendors, which included farmers, bakers and crafters.

“It’s been amazing. It’s really just beyond my wildest dreams,” she said on the growth. “The word has just kind of gotten out.”

A number of vendors had approached Russo, she said, “So the word is getting out that this market is growing and viable, and it’s a wonderful resource for our residents.”

The growth is what the city of Fairfield wants to see, said Mayor Steve Miller.

“It’s getting to be what we envisioned,” he said. “Kari’s got the right plan, she’s bringing in the vendors, she’s bringing in different events, and having things for the kids. When you have things for the kids, the parents come along. And if the kids are enjoying it, then the parents are going to enjoy it.”

The Healthy Family Focus, from 4 to 7 p.m. on May 29, will feature blood pressure screenings by the Fairfield Fire Department, Primary Healthcare Solutions vision screenings, a booth from the Fairfield Prevention Coalition, prescription drug drop off by the Fairfield Police Department, and the Butler County Extension office will bring its "smoothie bike," which is a bike on blocks with a blender on the back.

“People can put fruit in the blender and peddle the bike to make their own smoothies,” she said.

The summer farmers market runs from 4 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday through mid-October.