West Side Business News & Notes
Countryside Farmers’ Markets 10th anniversary season opens outside May 10
PENINSULA — The Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow will kick off the 2014 market season May 10 with a lineup of 63 vendors for the year. The market will continue every Saturday in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park from 9 a.m. until noon through Oct. 25.
Additionally, the Countryside Farmers’ Market at Highland Square will open May 29 with 22 vendors for the season, and will continue every Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. through Oct. 2.
In addition to familiar vendors, Countryside Farmers’ Markets welcomes 11 new vendors for the 2014 season that bring a range of products from kombucha, breed-specific fibers and yarns, gluten-free breads and baked goods, salsa (crafted by the winner of last year’s Howe Meadow Salsa Smackdown) and simple syrups, as well as two food trucks to add to the rotation.
Also, the markets will welcome debit card and Ohio Direction card purchases and will continue to offer dollar-for-dollar matching of Ohio Direction Card customer purchases up to $15 with the Carrot Cash program, with funding provided by Wholesome Wave.
The 10th anniversary season will be celebrated with several special events: a Preserving Party to share inspiration and knowledge to get the most from the coming season supported by a grant from Jarden Home Brands, makers of Ball products; Picnic in the Park food truck round-up; the annual Tomato Tasting and Salsa Smackdown; and the Pie Contest, this year paired with a tasting of winter squash varieties.
For more information about the Countryside Farmers’ Markets and vendors, visit www.cvcountside.org.
‘Re-thinking Agriculture’ discussion May 14
DOWNTOWN AKRON — “Re-thinking Agriculture” will be the subject of the GAINS (Greater Akron Innovation Network for Sustainability) meeting May 14 at Musica.
The evening’s discussion will cover Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), a smart technology sustainable agricultural solution designed to link food and local job creation and retention in urban and rural communities from The University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) and the status of industrialized hemp agriculture in Ohio for application in food, fuel, fiber and medicine.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for networking. The free program will begin at 6:15 p.m., with time for questions and answers at the close of the talks.
Wil Hemker, senior fellow, UARF, will discuss how automated CEA greenhouses powered with renewable energy produce highly nutritious, safe and affordable food while conserving 90 percent of fresh water using smaller footprints of land and using biodynamic vs. synthetic chemical practices, according to organizers. In addition, Lauren Berlekamp, special projects coordinator for Ohio Rights Group, will discuss the potential for a hemp-based economy in Ohio and the types of businesses already in existence.
GAINS is a local gathering of sustainability practitioners and those interested in learning, applying and sharing community culture from a long-term perspective. The salon-style meetings, held the second Wednesday of the month, are free, interactive and open to the public.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/GAIN4Sustainability.
Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.
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