All Posts By:

Mindy Trujillo

ALL/ EAT (out)/ EXPERIENCE

Cincinnati Area Farm Stands and Farmers’ Markets

Nothing says summer like home grown tomatoes, fresh sweet corn, and delicious watermelon.  And, nothing reflects those flavors of summer better than buying fresh from local farm stands and farmers’ markets.  Now, I’m not going to hit on every single market in and around Cincinnati, but I will let you know some of my favorites!  Most importantly, I just want to encourage you to go out and try a bunch because nothing compares to the quality of buying super local and super fresh.  

Farm Stands:

Farm stands are typically located close to a farm; sometimes in more rural areas, but not always.  Many of these, like Turner Farm, Shaw Farm, Kinman Farm, and Burwinkel Farm, are open daily.  While some farms focus more on eggs and meats, others highlight produce.  If you have kids, most of these farms have fun activities for children!  Personally, I love Burwinkel Farm in Ross, OH.  Depending on where you live, it might be a bit of a drive, but it’s worth it.  The best sweet corn, watermelon, berries, and tomatoes I’ve had yet this summer have been from Burwinkel.  Absolutely summer at its best! 

Farmers’ Markets:

Farmers’ Markets are typically bigger in size and scope.  These are often festive gatherings full of people and can include live music and ready-to-eat food from vendors.  At farmers’ markets you can also shop for much more than fruits, meats, and vegetables. Along with farm fresh produce, you can find jewelry, fresh cut flowers, soaps, locally roasted coffee, sweet treats, salsas, and so much more. You will probably spot some familiar faces from local businesses like Blue Oven Bakery, Street Pops, O Pie O, La Terza Coffee, and Bridges Nepali Cuisine.  And, there is at least one market every single day of the week.  I haven’t been to all of them yet, but here are some great ones:

    1. Hyde Park– Sunday mornings, 9:30-1:00
    2. Loveland– Tuesday afternoons, 3:00-6:30
    3. Northside– Wednesday evenings, 4:00-7:00
    4. Fort Thomas- Wednesday evenings, 3:00-7:00
    5. Madeira– Thursday afternoons, 3:30-7:00
    6. Milford– Saturday mornings, 10:00-2:30
    7. West Chester- Saturday mornings, 9:00-1:00

Why Shop Local Markets:

So why not just shop at the grocery store?  I mean, it is more convenient, right?  The thing is, you’d be missing out on the freshest produce picked at its peak (which means you get the most nutritional value and flavor)!  I also love that I’m supporting local farmers and I know where my food is coming from.  Plus, shopping at farmers’ markets connects you with the community.  What better way to discover local businesses?!  Extra bonus?  I eat much healthier when I’m grabbing greens and colorful fruits! Can I get an amen?

Supporting Local:

I guarantee you will discover some new favorite places that keep you coming back to those markets.  I’ve got quite a few.  Right now I’m craving some zucchini bread from Diane’s Heavenly Delights!  And last week I had the best lemon blueberry bagel from Five One Three Bagel Co.  Open my fridge and you will find some perfectly crunchy pickles from Pickled Paradise. Oh, and a couple days ago, when it was crazy-steamy-hot outside, my cutie patootie nephew Sam devoured a Street Pop gourmet creamsicle!  Yes, he shared a bite or two with me!

Tips Before You Go:

  1. Bring bags for your purchases
  2. Bring a cooler if interested in buying meats, eggs, pastas, pickles, etc. 
  3. Bring cash (most accept cards but not all do)
  4. Have a list but also come hungry

If you have a favorite farmers’ market or local farm, please share it with me!  Or, if you’re a frequent shopper at other places that focus on local produce, I’d love to hear about it!

GO THERE (Local farms and farmers’ markets)!  TRY THAT (fresh produce, supporting local businesses)!

 

 

ALL/ EXPERIENCE

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park + Museum (Outside and Educational)

Summer is a time for embracing the outdoors, but nothing says you can’t embrace a little art and education while enjoying the great outdoors, right? Located in Hamilton, OH, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park is an alluring blend of nature and art.  This is an outdoor museum on a beautiful piece of property with plenty of trees, rolling hills, gardens, and a pond or two.

Entrance to the park.

There are a few options for traveling through the park; my favorite option is to rent a golf cart!  I don’t play golf, but I find driving these so exciting!  Seriously.  My dream is to own one and drive it around my neighborhood.  No joke!  On a sunny day, taking one of these carts out is perfect.  You can rent a golf cart: $20 for the first hour and $15 each addition hour.  If you want the experience of the cart, which I highly recommend, but want to save money, rent the cart for an hour, use the map to navigate, and then, when the hour is up, pick up your car to see the part of the park you missed in that first hour.

It’s fun cruising around on the “art carts”!

Another option is to drive around in your vehicle and get out at designated parking places and walk around. You’re encouraged to walk right up to the sculptures.  Or, if you have plenty of time and energy, you can simply walk everywhere. But, beware, there are some steep hills!  Part of what makes this place amazing is the marriage of art and nature.  Trees, rolling hills, sculptures…when the sun is shining, you can’t beat it.  And, the sculptures make for great conversation pieces and photo ops!

Remind anyone of the Standing Stones at Craigh na Dun? Outlander fans?

There are so many interesting pieces to see.

I’ve visited this park during each season.  In summer, it’s perfect for being outside- take the family and pack a picnic lunch. In fall, you can’t beat the smell of the trees and the leaves coupled with the cool breeze.  I’ve also been in late spring when the flowers are blooming- gorgeous.  If you’re a hiker, there are trails available!  I don’t have any first hand knowledge of the trails, but I’m certain it would add to the experience.

This overlook is the perfect spot for a picnic lunch.

One of my favorite times to visit is during winter for Holiday Lights on the Hill!  It’s a scenic drive filled with colorful lights and if you’re lucky, snow.

Speaking of events, be sure to check out the calendar at Pyramid Hill.  There is so much happening.  Here are a few highlights:

    • July 27th= Blues, Brews, and BBQ’s event 
    • August 16th= Meteor Shower Party
    • September 28/29= Art Fair featuring over 70 artists, live music, food vendors
    • November 22-Jan. 5= Holiday Lights on the Hill

Admission to the park costs $8.00 for adults and $3.00 for children.  Kids under 5 get in free.  There’s also a museum with ancient sculptures featuring Greek, Roman, and Egyptian artifacts. The museum, which is open 12-5 daily, is an interesting juxtaposition to the very modern art in the park.  Check out the website to learn more about the indoor and outdoor galleries!

I love this Romeo and Juliet piece.

Some of the sculptures are newer than others, some of the exhibits rotate, and some are a bit weathered by time, but overall, the park is serene and peaceful.  It’s a refreshing respite from the stressors of daily life!  Although, my husband would probably argue that riding in a golf cart with me behind the wheel is neither calming nor peaceful; it is, however, crazy and full of laughter! And those are precious moments, too!

If you have not been to Pyramid Hill, it’s worth the drive!

I am a huge advocate of exploring all this incredible city of Cincinnati has to offer and I never get tired of new experiences! Be sure to find me on facebook and instagram as well.

GO THERE (Pyramid Hill)!  TRY THAT (Rent a golf cart, spend the afternoon enjoying art and nature)!