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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/ EAT (out)

Pizza, patios, and pints in Cincinnati!

Today’s post is all about celebrating the three P’s: pizza, patios, and pints.  All delicious.  All family friendly.  All perfect for summer.  Let me give you the 411 (does that totally date me?) on a few of my favorite spots to sit down, relax, and enjoy.

Hoppin’ Vines in Kenwood:

Close to the Kenwood Mall, Hoppin’ Vines is a big, open, airy spot both inside and outside.  The two patios are lined with hanging baskets and filled with comfortable seating (plus a television or two for you sporty people)!  While this is not a brewery, Hoppin’ Vines focuses on serving up beer from local Cincinnati brewing talent.  All your local favorites on tap in one place!  It also boasts a pretty extensive wine menu; thus, Hoppin (beer comes from hops) Vines (grapes grow on vines).  Clever naming, right?!  And whether you are a drinker or not, the pizza, served by Delicio, is coal fired and pretty spectacular.  Plus, those dry rubbed wings are out of this world.  Up for a little game action? Try the Duckpin bowling inside the restaurant.  Super fun.  

Little Miami Brewing in Milford:

This is my new favorite place to relax.  Little Miami Brewing is an airy warehouse with a great breeze inside and awesome  seating outside overlooking the Little Miami River. If you sit outside, which I highly recommend, there are picnic tables and Adirondack chairs ready for you.  It’s not uncommon to see people in kayaks and canoes park along the bank and walk up for a beer and a bite; same with bikers popping in from the Milford Bike trail.  A local brewery, Little Miami features small batch craft beer brewed on sight.  Think various IPA’s, sours, stouts, and interesting flavor combinations.  Get a flight to try all the latest brews.  Plus, the pizza is crazy good and the salads are light and refreshing.  Speaking of pizza, I’ve had their brick oven Buffalo Shuffle Pizza, Carlito Taco Pizza, and the Margherita Pizza.  Yummy!  Be sure to check out their event schedule online for trivia nights, open mic nights, and more.  

Taft Brewporium in Winton Place:

Close to Spring Grove Cemetery, Taft Brewporium pays homage to William Howard Taft who supposedly loved a good pint or two!  Taft Brewporium is essentially a big warehouse where beer and pizza are made under the same roof.  The pizza served at Taft Brewporium is New Haven Style Pizza so the crust is thin and crispy- just my kind of pizza.  The Tomato Pie with Mozzarella is classic, simple, and super tasty!  If you enjoy craft beer, Taft features new beers all the time and you can find brews here that are only sold at the brewery!  There are lots of games including shuffle board, corn hole, and giant jenga to entertain family and friends.  As someone who is all about supporting local businesses, I love that Taft, in addition to events like live music and trivia nights, also has summer markets where local vendors set up shop inside the brewporium; be sure to check out the next market, Saturday, June 29th from 11:30am to 5:00pm.  

I have nothing against bars, don’t get me wrong, but what I like about these places is that family is included.  These are local gathering spots where you can sit outside, relax, have a drink (or not), share a pizza pie, and enjoy the summer.  As John Lomax, anchor on channel 12 news said in my segment this morning, “it’s almost like having a picnic” but in this case, you just show up and the rest is provided for you!

If you’ve been to Hoppin’ Vines, Little Miami, or Taft, I’d love to know your favorite pizza and beer!

GO THERE (Hoppin’ Vines, Little Miami Brewing, Taft Brewporium)!  TRY THAT (A flight of craft beer, a delicious pizza, a table outside)!