If you don't live in Athens, Ohio, or haven't even heard of it, we are home of one of the best farmer's markets in the United States. And I get to be a food producer there! How lucky am I?

Market day for Bruno and me is SO MUCH FUN. We start out at the restaurant early and get together all of the fresh salsas and baked goods (prepped by a collective of folks) we can. Sometimes I get excited 'cause I made that sesame soy salad dressing or the guacamole that you're about to buy. I jump up and down and say to Bruno, "See, look what I made!". Anyway. We head to market in Bruno's comfy, yet loud vehicle, and everyone makes fun of it, but we don't care. We've made it to the market!

I put my shades on. The sunny mornings are the best. The fresh morning air (even in the dead of summer), EZ-Ups going... well... up, producers piling tables high with gorgeous products, and the conversation. The conversation makes it for me-- the happy "Good mornings!", the smiles from other producers, all the little jokes. I feel like I'm a part of making this unique community.

After Bruno and I set up our salsas, biscuits and Scrabble letters, we shop for Casa. Anything we can get our hands on this spring will be used with love and pride in our restaurant (that asparagus was MINE! gimme those strawberries! oof!). Then Bruno is on a coffee mission and I'm on a mission to shop for home. I have to hurry, though, 'cause...

THE BELL RINGS! And they're off! I race back to our stall because customers from all over town, all over the county, all over Southeastern Ohio (who have never been to the AFM before? Really? Let me tell you about this place...), they are burning rubber to get the goods. We are busy ladling salsa verde and red chile roasted garlic salsa into containers all morning long. Our favorite brownie customers come by, and so does the lady who always buys sesame soy dressing and black bean salsa (you know who you are, wink wink). Our customers comment on the lovely products we got for the restaurant. Oh, you see those beautiful baskets of fruit behind me? Yeah, those are for the restaurant and we got them from Cherry Orchard. Yes, we are having a lovely time sampling all these delicious jars of jam that we bought from Shew's Orchard. Yes, isn't that box of bright orange habaneros crazy? Cowdery Farm always hooks us up with the awesome peppers.

Then, before we know it, it's 1:00. Where did the day go? Where did all the salsa and veggies go? Shiny happy customers all over Athens County have taken them home to enjoy, and I breathe a sigh of relief and happiness. Another successful day at the market.

And by the way, hello! My name is Michelle and I'm one of the food coordinators at Casa Nueva. Welcome to my first post as a guest here at the Athens Farmers Market blog.

I cannot wait to get back to the market. See you in April!


Thinking Spring!

It's hard to contain the excitement brewing around AFM these days....spring is certainly around the corner and our farmers know it! There were 26 vendors at Market today....impressive!

While early spring veggies are still a few weeks away, mark your calendars for the start of a new Market season -- the first Wednesday Market is scheduled for Wednesday, April 15th.

I'd also like to announce that this blog wants bloggers!! It's always more fun to hear lots of different perspectives on something as interesting as Athens Farmers Market, right? If you've got a story to tell, email me at athensfarmersmarket@gmail.com and I'll get you set up.