You can now give the gift of food at Athens Farmers Market by purchasing Market Bucks in $1 and $5 incriments.
Use like cash to shop anywhere at the Market.
See Sarah Conley, Market Manager during Market hours to get more information.



Product Availability for the week of June 21st-June 28th

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a complete list of ALL products sold at AFM but merely a list of notable items that may or may not have been available prior to current Market date. For simplicity's sake, I will not list specific vendors who carry these products, but feel free to visit our Membership Directory for the contact info of individual vendors.


Fruits and Vegetables:
-Cherries (both sweet and sour)
-Tomatoes (in limited quantities, early for the season)
-Sweet Corn (though small and still early for the season)
-Strawberries (reaching the end of their season, but still holding on)
-Red raspberries (in small quantities)
-Red onions (still a bit green but bulbous)
-Garlic (with green tops)
-New potatoes (red and white - yummy!)
-Sugar Snap Peas
-Shell Peas
-Zuchini and yellow squash
-Lettuce, Spinach, Chard and Kale
-Fresh cut herbs (including cilantro, basil, chives, thyme, dill, etc)

Meat and Dairy:
-Cheeses (cow and goat!)
-Local milk

Bedding and Nursery Plants:
-Still plenty of annuals in flats and hanging baskets at discounted rates
-Perrenials including trees and shrubs
-Heirloom, deerproof plants
-A few vegetable plants - especially herbs
-Fancy Daylilies
-Cut flowers and arrangements

Value Added Products:
-Homemade jams, jellies, preserves, chutneys, and fruit butters
-Herbal vinegars
-Salsa in many flavors, bbq rubs and sauces
-Bread products, including artisanal breads, organic items, discounted breads, etc
-Made-to-order beef burgers
-Lemon Shake-Ups
-Pies, muffins, scones, shortbreads, pastries, cookies
-Coffee and Tea (brewed or bagged)
-Salad Dressing
-Gourmet dog buiscuts

Wednedsay Market is getting BIGGER every week! Join us and find many (but not quite all) of the products listed above.

With a list of products this long, everyone is looking forward to next Saturday!

What's New at the Market....

Hi Friends!

Well, it was only a matter of time before AFM entered the next millenium and began using an online forum to get more information to our vendors, customers and community. I hope that this blog can serve as a resource for posting the latest news and updates at the Athens Farmers Market.

Check in weekly as I update this site with information on:
  • Product Availability at Market
  • Event Information at the Market Cafe
  • AFM in the News
  • Related links and other exciting updates


You may have noticed that there are a few postings archived already. Who wrote them, you may ask....well, this blog was begun by a student at Ohio University for an online journalism course. She used the site to blog about her experiences following fresh produce from the farm to the consumer. Since the quarter ended, she has turned the reins over to me so that I can continue sharing information about the Market. Her insights and viewpoints are quite interesting and certainly worth a look....enjoy!


from the market to the kitchen

After experiencing first-hand what it involves to get produce from the fields to the market, I wanted to document the journey from the market to the kitchen. Market manager Sarah Conley was gracious enough to invite me into her home one afternoon as she cooked dinner for her family of four - herself, husband Zach, daughter Magnolia (2 years) and daughter Juniper (3 1/2 months). This particular afternoon she had planned to make rhubarb and strawberry cake with strawberries she had purchased from the market and a ham/asparagus/potato fritata with ham and asparagus she had also purchased from the market and Ohio-grown potatoes she had purchased from Kroger.

Recipe #1 - Rhubarb and Strawberry Cake

The recipe calls for 2 cups finely chopped rhubarb and 2 cups finely chopped strawberries...

Plus 1 cup yogurt or sour cream...

Mixed with 1 egg, 1 cup sugar, 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda and a pinch of salt in a 9x9 greased baking dish.

The cake is then topped with a sprinkling of 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons flour and oats if desired. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes (until brown on top).

Recipe #2 - Ham/Asparagus/Potato Fritata

For the fritata, Conley simply combined chopped ham, asparagus and potato with onion, eggs, garlic powder, salt and pepper cooked in olive oil over medium heat on the stove.

Personal Insights

While the food was being prepared, I took the opportunity to speak with Conley (an OU social/environmental ecology studies alum) about her personal beliefs on food. Despite global concern mounting over the food crisis in recent months, Conley said that she feels many Americans have long undervalued the worth of food. She said that her family has always been willing to spend more for healthy food to promote a healthier lifestyle that will in turn (hopefully) mean less trips to the doctor's office.

Conley said that she strives to buy the freshest, least-processed food she can for her family and that while being locally-grown and organic are both top priorities in what she's looking for, locally-grown food wins out over organic.

"If it comes down to it, I'll buy conventionally-farmed local food over organic food from elsewhere, because buying local and supporting the local economy is more important to me. To some people food can just be something you eat - to me, food can be a political statement."

Conley also shared a book she recently read titled Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver. The book follows Kingsolver's family through one year as they pledged to eat strictly local foods by growing their own products on their Virginia farm and buying from neighboring farms.

All in all, it was obvious that Conley has a real passion for food and for cooking - something my generation and I (admittedly) lack. She alluded to the "Slow Food Movement" which I was unfamiliar with. According to Slow Food USA:
"Slow Food USA believes that pleasure and quality in everyday life can be achieved by slowing down, respecting the convivial traditions of the table and celebrating the diversity of the earth's bounty. From the spice of Cajun cooking to the delicious simplicity of produce at a farmers’ market; from animal breeds and heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables to handcrafted wine and beer, farmhouse cheeses and other artisanal products; these foods are a part of our cultural identity ... By reviving the pleasures of the table, and using our taste buds as our guides, Slow Food USA believes that our food heritage can be saved."
Our discussion about slow food really struck a chord with me, because even when I watch my mother prepare a meal from scratch for our family, I'm almost too impatient to even help. Sadly, I'm more used to microwaveable meals and instant food. Is the American food tradition fast-food chains? I studied abroad in Pamplona, Spain, two summers ago and lived with an older Spanish woman and her family. Their culture was so embedded in food and sitting down at the table and eating together, it is at times a stark contrast to the fast-paced American lifestyle.
"Socializing centered around food... I think that's beautiful"
- Conley


from the farm to the market

A couple weeks ago I was fortunate enough to visit Green Edge Organic Gardens, a veteran vendor at the Athens Farmers Market. Becky and Kip Rondy have owned the 120-acre farm (located at 16232 Henry Rd. Amesville, OH 45711) for the past 20 years. They produce salad mixes, microgreens, vegetables and six kinds of specialty mushrooms, all grown and harvested by hand. In addition to selling at the market, Green Edge sells to local restaurants including Casa Nueva, Village Bakery, Zoƫ's, The Farmacy Natural Foods, Seaman's Cardinal Grocery and Latitude 39 and selected restaurants in Columbus. Green Edge also has a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program where community members can purchase a "farm share" in return for a weekly portion of the harvest throughout the season, usually equaling out to 10-25 100% certified organic vegetables. (Anyone interested in learning more about the CSA program should click here!)

I visited the farm on a Friday, one of their busiest days. The schedule plays out as follows:

1. Employees arrive early Friday morning to harvest produce.

2. All produce is taken to the packing room to be rinsed:

3. Then bunched:

4. And then packed:

5. Early Saturday morning, all produce is loaded into trucks and vans.

6. And I met up with the Green Edge employees again on Saturday morning as they unloaded their produce as the market:

And there you have it - the food followed from the farm to the market.


the unique features of a farmers market

Social Life at the Market

Apart from the obvious contrast of being able to purchase organic, locally-grown food at the Athens Farmers Market, shopping at the market also differs from shopping at supermarket chains in that it allows for enriched social interaction. Many shoppers make their way to the market every Wednesday or Saturday to enjoy a more personal transaction at what has come to be a community connection place. After all, when was the last time you spoke with the farmer who grew the salad greens you were buying at Kroger?

Social Service at the Market

As mentioned in my first post, the market also maintains several social service programs. Various vendors accept WIC coupons and food stamps. There is also a Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program and low-income individuals that shop at the market using subsidy money.

One of the hallmark social service programs featured at the Athens Farmers Market is the Community Food Initiatives (CFI) donation stations located among the vendors' stalls. Market patrons can donate purchased items to the CFI stations to then be taken to local food banks. The program has proven to be very successful in promoting healthier lifestyles and stimulating the local economy.

Still to come: following a farmer from the fields to the market AND following a customer from the market to their kitchen.