Newsletter for Friday August 7, 2015

Lettuce Eat Well Farmers' Market is held year-round at Cheviot United Methodist Church 3820 Westwood Northern Blvd. 45211.  The market is usually held in the church's Werner Lounge.  Follow the sign that says OFFICES and we will be right inside that entrance.  Please note that this location could vary depending on other activities taking place at the church.  Follow the happy voices and you'll find us.  

We are now on our Summer Market schedule:  Fridays 3:00 - 7:00 P.M.

Grateful for Our Farmers 
As I sit here in the comfort of my home, cooled by the breeze of the whirling ceiling fan, I think of our farmers who are, at this moment, out in the scorching sun and smothering humidity.  Have you ever contemplated what is involved in providing us with nutrient dense, healthful foods?  In a word: WORK.   Lots of it!  Having grown up on a farm, I recall hating to have to pull weeds.  That job always seemed to be relegated to the younger set on our farm.  Given the abundance of rain we've had this summer, I suspect that all hands have been recruited to the weed pulling patrol at this point.  Oh my aching back. 

Oh, and then there are the insects to deal with.  This can be especially challenging for farmers who supply produce to our market because all produce at our market is required to be synthetic chemical free.  Did you know that our farmers are enlisting the help of insects to deal the unwanted variety?  Yep, and it works.  And, there are no bad side effects  -  well, except for the unwanted bugs that get eaten by the predatory ones. 

Other challenges of farming include a variety of losses which are beyond the farmer's control and are common occurrences on a farm.  Losses can be due to too much rain, too little rain, wind that topples the taller plants, critters that eat the crop while the farmer's back is turned, and a myriad of other issues that farmers are required to deal with.

And yet, the farmers keep plugging away, so that we can Eat Well.  Yes, they do make some money along the way; however, not nearly enough compared with the income of other professions.  Given that food is an essential of life, one would think we would hold in highest esteem the providers of healthful food.  Some people do.  By purchasing our food at the farmers' market we are honoring those who produce the food.  This is such a win-win; We get to know where our food comes from and our money goes to the people who do the actual work of providing the food.  

Ahh, life on the farm; If you would like to read a delightful book that depicts life on the farm, peruse this week's Recommended Read on the Market Resource table.  The Seasons on Henry's Farm: A Year of Food and Life on a Sustainable Farm gives a week by week snapshot of the immense amount of work  -  and pleasures  -  of farming in central Illinois.  The Market Resource table, located near the market entrance,  also has numerous free handouts on topics of importance.      


When I'm out and about, I often have the opportunity to talk with people about LEWFM.  One such conversation took place this past Sunday.  After mentioning that I manage a farmers' market, the woman with whom I was speaking said, "I haven't had a good tasting tomato since I was a little girl."  Obviously she has not shopped at our market.  She asked for my business card and said she would be certain to stop by.  When she does, we will be ready for her  -  and YOU.  The tomatoes are both beautiful and bountiful.  If your mouth has been watering for a good tasting tomato, come on down.  You will surely not be disappointed.   

The winner of last week's free market bag is Joellyn W.  We will be giving away a free market bag every week through the middle of October.  If you are not familiar with how the pre-order/free market bag promo works, see further details in the Previously Announced section. 


Some of you are long-time readers of the newsletter; others are new to the market and are reading the newsletter for the first time.  This section is included each week to bring your attention to important happenings around the market and around town. 

New Pre-order Promo: Win a Free Market Bag
Beginning June 5th we will be giving away a free market bag to a lucky winner.  Actually, there will be 20 lucky winners because we will be giving away a market bag each week for 20 weeks.  To be eligible to win a free market bag, you simply need to place a pre-order with any vendor.  Each time you pick up your pre-order your name will be entered into the drawing to win a free market bag. To learn more about pre-ordering, see the article Pre-ordering Pays Off (below).

The free market bag give away is made possible by the generous gift of  
Erin McDermott, one of the market's volunteers.
Erin, busy sewing market bags
Erin, a volunteer from Bridgetown, began spending time at the market to meet some nearby neighbors. She loves to help make sure things run smoothly and offer her friendly smile as a market greeter. Erin is a talented seamstress and recently decided to sew a few market bags to give away at the market.  She wants to thank the West-siders she sees at Lettuce Eat Well Farmers' Market for shopping local, and for taking part in an important community endeavor. Be sure to introduce yourself next time you see Erin at the market! 


Pre-ordering Pays Off
Have you ever arrived at market to purchase your favorite item/s from your favorite vendor/s only to be disappointed because the vendor/s sold out of the item/s?  Did you know that that no longer has to happen?  At LEWFM you can pre-order your items and pick them up any time during market hours of 3:00 - 7:00 P.M.  Pre-ordering not only pays off for you, it also helps the vendors know how much to prepare/harvest, which greatly reduces waste.  Pre-ordering is a real win-win for all, and it only takes a few minutes of your time to plan ahead and place your order.  Given the importance of Eating Well, getting into the habit of placing your pre-orders each week will likely become a high priority on your weekly To Do List. 

There are two easy ways you can place your pre-orders, in person at market or via email.  Here's how the email ordering works:  Email me at LEWFMLOCAL@GMAIL.COM and ask to be added to the vendor email pre-order list.  Each week you will receive an email from the vendors detailing the items they have available for you to order that week.  Reply to their email, letting them know the items you wish to order, then come to market on Friday to pick up your items. 


For a full listing of our vendors, their products, and services including:
  • Kids & Krafts, where the kids can have loads of fun so you can leisurely shop the market
  • Many food and non-food items
  • and a list of vendors who accept credit cards
Check out our Vendors.


Produce Perks
For those who noticed the logo at the bottom of the newsletter recently and wondered what it means, here is the good news about a new program.  Produce Perks is an incentive program that is meant to encourage and help those who receive EBT (formerly known as food stamps) purchase more produce.  Produce Perks is a dollar for dollar match (up to $10), with the matching dollars used on produce.  The Produce Perks website offers the following additional information:
“Produce Perks” is an initiative modeled after a similar program in Cuyahoga County.  It is administered by OSU Extension, Hamilton County as a partnership of OSU Extension, Hamilton County; the City of Cincinnati Health Department; and the City of Cincinnati Creating Healthy Communities initiative.  Focus is on access and affordability of healthy fruits and vegetables for under-served consumers. 
Produce Perks are incentive tokens given to customers at participating farmers’ markets who use an Ohio Direction Card (“electronic benefits transfer” or EBT card) to purchase food.  A customer wishing to use their food assistance benefits can swipe their card at one central terminal, located at participating market’s information booths, and ask to withdraw a desired amount. The market provides tokens for the transaction and additional Produce Perks that can be spent on fruits and vegetables.  As the name suggests, Produce Perks are only good for purchasing fruits and vegetables.  All other tokens purchased with the Ohio Direction Card are good to use on eligible items at the market.           
Please help us spread the word about this very worthwhile program.  One way to help get the word out is to stop by the market management booth to pick up brochures to share with those you know who receive EBT benefits.  You could also leave brochures at your church, doctor or dentist's office, or any locations that would permit you to do so. 


Please share this newsletter with friends and family to help spread the word about LEWFM!

We hope to see you real soon at Lettuce Eat Well Farmers' Market!

Newsletter compiled by Mary A. Hutten, Market Manager