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Local Roots Market in Wooster, OH

November 23rd, 2009

This past Saturday I went to the Local Roots Market in Wooster, Ohio. I heard about it this summer while at the local fair and I’ve been watching their website for news and updates. They opened recently and since I had Saturday off, I headed over to Wooster to see what the market was like.
Their plan is to have an year-round indoor farmer’s market to connect the community with local sources of meat, dairy, vegetables, honey, and other locally produced products.
I was given a tour and told all about the future plans of the Local Roots Market. They plan on opening up a cafe that uses local food. A local butcher would like to open a shop in the back of the building selling locally raised meat. They want to install a commercial kitchen the farmers can use to add value to their produce. It’s a wonderful plan that I can get behind. I’m very excited to have a source for produce all winter long. I plan on attending several times a month (when I have a Sat off) and supporting this great initiative.
There were a variety of farmers/artisans there on Saturday because they were holding their annual Holiday Market. Generally they don’t have vendors selling crafts. This is a nice change. I’ve heard that some farmer’s markets are more craft markets than produce markets.
The variety and quality of produce available was wonderful. I do love my local farmer’s market (which ended yesterday morning), but because it’s a very rural area the variety of produce is at times lacking. I’ve never seen arugula, endive, bitter greens, fingerling potatoes and other interesting items at my local market. This market featured many of the items I love to eat. I saw endive, arugula, purple and white carrots, all kinds of herbs, ground cherries, brussels sprouts on the stalk, spelt artisan bread, raw milk cheese, grass-fed beef, celery roots and much more.
All the vendors have signs with their farm name, the type of farming they do: organic, conventional, integrated pest management, etc. This is great because you can look at the sign and know right away if the use chemicals or practice organic methods.
The market was packed, which is always good to see. It’s clear that there are a lot of community members that are interesting in eating locally and strengthening the local food system and the local economy. I’ll show you all the delicious things I got tomorrow.

Have you found that the local food movement is growing in your area?

15 Comments to “Local Roots Market in Wooster, OH”
  1. Dan on November 23, 2009 at 8:32 am

    That is some beautiful produce. I have seen a lot of “eat local” signs around in the past year or so, seems to be all the rage now a days. Makes sense really, why ship something in that you already grow in your area. I have been noticing lately at the supermarket that they are increasing selling produce from really fare off place at times of the year that the produce is readily available here. For instance I was looking for garlic to plant in the garden and all the selection was from China. Needless to say it is still at the store, I have no desire to eat or plant produce from China! Makes you wonder what they are doing with all the garlic we grow here.
    .-= Dan´s last blog ..Harvest Monday =-.

    Reply to Dan's comment

    • Susy on November 23, 2009 at 4:40 pm

      I’m very leery of produce grown in any other countries. I’m particularly leery of “organic” from other countries. I don’t like the conditions that the workers often have to work under. That’s not saying things are better here, I don’t buy U.S. conventional or big-box organic for the same reasons.

      I have read that the U.S. grows a lot of the world’s garlic. Makes you wonder what happens to it. Kind of like the fact that we export X pounds of potatoes and import X pounds of potatoes – why don’t we just keep what we grow and not import them from other places?

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Randy on November 23, 2009 at 8:41 am

    This market sounds great. I grew up in Cincy and left for North Carolina in 83. Ohio is moving up in the world. Want to see an incredible farmers market try the Carrboro Farmers Market next door to Chapel Hill, NC. We have a great food coop that now has 3 locations and when we can’t buy our produce at the farmers market we get it there!
    .-= Randy´s last blog ..Still Blooming in Paradise =-.

    Reply to Randy's comment

  3. annie avery on November 23, 2009 at 8:47 am

    aahh!! just wonderful to see these ideas spring forth and become reality. to see local economy burst out like this. i hope the vendors use barter and goods exchange to expand their availability to those who have no income to speak of.. i don’t care what the popular stand is on “socialism”, but i think collectives and co-operatives are in resurgence!! wonderful!! and finding a friendly landlord can’t hurt either… now we just have to figure out how to pay our fuel bills with goods and services..the time will come when this idea is not so far-fetched. thanks suzy for this inspiring article~

    Reply to annie avery's comment

    • Kevin on November 23, 2009 at 12:48 pm


      Ironically enough, some of us from the Local Roots Market were discussing that very idea of barter (as well as community charity in general) at a gathering Saturday night after our viewing of the Polycultures video. We think an effective method might be to set up a barter page on the Local Roots site. One of the most important issues facing us is to shed any impression that this type of system is only for the elite, yet our producers certainly need to make a reasonable living in order to continue to provide healthy local food. It’s time we set aside these broad world/national political ideas/agendas and simply direct our energies at the community level. I can speak for many producers whom we associate with and rest assured, many of us also provide direct donations of food to various local causes (and not just the high exposure “sexy” ones). I am a producer member at Local Roots and suggest you post your comments/questions/ideas at the Local Roots site also so the board/steering committee members can see the interest people have in this.

      Thanks Susy for this nice forum and thank you Annie for your thoughtful post!

      Have a groovy day everyone!
      — Kevin

      Reply to Kevin's comment

    • Susy on November 23, 2009 at 12:58 pm

      I hope a lot of farmer’s markets start allowing WIC and food stamps. I know our farmer’s market takes WIC coupons. I did a post about it last year: /2008/10/09/can-i-get-a-hip-hip-horray-for-the-ohio-department-of-health/

      I think bartering is a great idea. Mr Chiots and I occasionally barter our work for things from other people and we’d love to do that more. Mr Chiots can design and code a mean website and we’ve made promotional videos for people as well. It is difficult in a money based society. That may be one good thing that comes from the recession we’re in, a resurgence of bartering.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Kevin on November 23, 2009 at 1:23 pm

        The Federal/State programs certainly provide a valuable option, unfortunately, the contracts/red tape and not to mention waste tend to turn off many smaller (legitimate) “producers” from participating.

        Fortunately, there seem to be more and more local level philanthropic programs popping up such as HANDS in my county (Medina) and when we speak of sustainability I have to once again harp on local, community level individuals/organizations to step up to the plate (pun intended).

        We seem to be rapidly approaching a time when groups of people have to demand the attention that the other special interests/lobbyists have hijacked and get the focus shifted toward some of our basic needs such as QUALITY affordable food.

        It is refreshing to see so much interest and dialog in these ideals!

        to Kevin's comment

      • Pampered Mom on November 23, 2009 at 4:24 pm

        I love all of these ideas/discussions as well! Along with things like bartering I’m wondering if the concept of “timebanking” or other local currencies might one day play a role as well.
        .-= Pampered Mom´s last blog ..Boneset Tincture =-.

        to Pampered Mom's comment

      • Jennifer on November 24, 2009 at 11:19 am

        Susy and all, I’m on the board at Local Roots, so first of all, thanks for the kind words! We are very excited to see this market be so successful just in its first three weeks, and we are deeply appreciative of all our wonderful members, including the fantastic producers (like Kevin!).

        In our steering committee meeting last evening, we discussed the next steps we need to take in order to be able to help people on lower incomes shop at Local Roots. This has been on our agenda for a long time, but we haven’t been able to push very far until we actually opened and had something for the government agencies to SEE and approve. That said, we are going to reapply for the food assistance program, and we’re going to look into the WIC coupons again. (The main holdup to date on that has been that as a farmers’ market, the individual farmers would have to have contracts with the program; we want to hold the contract as a store and take the paperwork burden off the producers. We will be persistent!!!)

        We’ve still got a lot to do as a marketplace, but making sure EVERYONE has access to fresh and affordable food is one of our priorities, and we’ll do whatever we can to make that happen.


        to Jennifer's comment

  4. kristin @ going country on November 23, 2009 at 9:10 am

    That’s awesome. You’re very lucky to have that resource.

    Local food never really went away around here, I don’t think. But there are a lot more markets in small villages lately, which is great for people who can’t afford to pay the fees to sell at the big established markets. We looked into the market in the Small City (to sell our lamb), and were shocked at how much it costs to pull up a truck and sell there. But these small markets that have just started up in the last year or so have more possibilities for really small producers like us.
    .-= kristin @ going country´s last blog ..Monday Morning Pie for All! =-.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  5. Dave on November 23, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Very neat idea! Our town and the county seat here both have farmer’s markets that are going strong. The close to home movement is definitely in play here in TN.
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..Greenhouse Project: My Back =-.

    Reply to Dave's comment

  6. Jackie @ Lilolu on November 23, 2009 at 10:46 am

    We have an organic co-op market near my town that supports local and small-scale farming. If you volunteer at the market you get great discounts on groceries.
    .-= Jackie @ Lilolu´s last blog ..New Original "Cook Yourself Thin" Recipes =-.

    Reply to Jackie @ Lilolu's comment

  7. Tree on November 23, 2009 at 10:52 am

    This is so awesome. I would love to have one of these near me. My Public Market is open year round (because we have importers) but is becoming packed with not just crafters (crafters I like) but junk vendors, the people who buy cheap imports leave them in banana boxes and sell it cheap.

    Currently I know the vendors and how they farm, but I had to ask. I have my milk guy (who is organic and hormone free) who will be there all winter and he has my box ready to go. 2 gallons of Low Fat Milk, 1 quart of jersey cream, 2lbs of raw cheese – cheddar and goat, then there is my egg lady, hormone free chickens, fed organic grains, but not free range, however I didn’t see her this week when I went and I am hoping it is just because she was away for the weekend, as the other options are hormone free, organic feed, and free range, but they are more pricey $2.95/doz as opposed to my $3.75 for a flat (3 doz.). Then there are my Grass Fed Beef people (hormone free) and i love them. Then there is the Chicken and Pig guy (he had turkeys too, but since I wasn’t cooking this year I didn’t order one). And then my Organic Local Farm – which I get roots, and mustard greens this time of year. Then the local, organic hydropanic tomatoes people (they have peppers, onions and pears as the season permits (all pesticide free).
    So I know who to avoid, and who to patronize, but I would love something that is more community driven (no importers or junk vendors) We have some smaller markets that I think are geared toward this but they are Wed and Thurs evening, so unless I get Bike Paniers this isn’t happening for me. I don’t think I would mind going by after work on Wed or Thursday picking the market that suits my needs, but I need bike paniers.
    .-= Tree´s last blog ..Burried in Girl Scout Cookies =-.

    Reply to Tree's comment

    • Susy on November 23, 2009 at 4:41 pm

      I always try to ask and buy from the most organic sources I can. Sometimes there’s a trade off. I’d love to buy heirloom turkey and chicken breeds but my local farm doesn’t use them. It’s not as cost efficient for them, which I understand. Most people aren’t willing to pay twice as much for a chicken just because it’s an heirloom breed that takes twice as long to mature.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. […] arugula, endive, fingerling potatoes, bitter winter greens and lots of other interesting things. I mentioned yesterday that I was impressed with the variety of produce I spotted on Saturday. It was a hard choice […]

    Reply to Fresh Produce from Local Roots Market, Wooster | Chiot’s Run's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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