I am reminded of an old saying, “You need to walk before you can run”. This has been the case once again for our county farming community as they slowly make planting progress with both the corn and soybean crop — just not enough dry days along with proper soil conditions to get everything planted up to this point.
Let’s all say a little prayer this weekend for several days of dry weather so our farmers can finish this year’s planting season.
On a bright side, I am sure you are all aware things are slowly opening up across Ohio and the country during this Covid-19 crisis. Again, that old saying comes to mind about walking before running.
We, the staff of the Clinton County Extension office; with guidance, direction and protocol through Ohio State University, are in the process to begin physically reopening in the very near future. Please keep in mind we will not be a full service office immediately.
Watch our Clinton.osu.edu website for further details. Until then we will continue to telework from home, but know for now we are only an email or phone call away.
Another silver lining this week is the fact the Clinton County Farmers market will begin its 21st summer market season this Saturday, May 30. Beginning this weekend and every Saturday through the end of September, the Clinton County Farmers Market will be open for business 9 a.m. to noon and operating from the Clinton County Fairgrounds, 958 W. Main Street, Wilmington.
The summer market will have several changes in order to ensure the safety of everyone attending and shopping with the vendors of the market according to response to the COVID-19 situation.
First rule they ask is that you enter and exit the Farmers Market from the West Main Street exit which is where you will see the electronic sign and the Expo Building. Upon arrival, customers should stop at the “welcome tent” (while in your vehicle) to get further directions to the appropriate parking or pick-up areas.
Customers will have two options in order to shop at this year’s market — walk-up options to shop, as well you may pre-order with many of the vendors at the market and drive-thru to pick up your orders.
Sally Buchanan, market manger, notes that the pre-ordering/drive-thru for pickup option will be for pre-ordering items from vendors who are only participating in this option. The walk-up option will allow customer to shop at the vendor’s table while maintaining appropriate safe distancing between the customer and the vendor.
Be sure to check the Clinton County Farmers Market webpage — http://www.clintoncountyfarmersmarket.com — for vendor participation information and pre-ordering options, payment methods, and ordering deadlines each week.
Market management also notes there will be certain safety guidelines customers will need to follow while shopping at the farmers market.
All customers are asked to follow these recommendations when coming to the market
1. If you are not feeling well, please stay home from the market.
2. Customers are encouraged to wear face covering while at the market. Of note: All vendors, staff, and volunteers will be required to wear face coverings and practice hand hygiene after each transaction with a customer.
3. Please observe 6-foot social distancing while at any of the vendors’ booths and in the immediate area around the walk-in area of the market.
4. Please use hand sanitizer before entering the Market. A handwashing station will be available in the walk-up parking area if needed.
5. Customers will not handle the produce/products before purchase. Customers will identify items that they want to purchase and vendors will package selected items.
6. Please drive safely while moving through the market parking areas.
A final note from the market to everyone is to please understand these changes are necessary to protect everyone participating with the market. They are excited to be able to open the market for another successful season and look forward to seeing many of you throughout the summer.
Finally this week, as we wet our appetite for fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and so much more, the market will have to offer, I want to inform you that the Ohio State University Food Preservation Team is hosting several educational programs pertaining to preserving jams and jellies, pickles and salsa along with canning and freezing fruits and vegetables.
These sessions are scheduled for Tuesdays from 4-5 p.m. The first session on Preparing for Canning has been recorded. Future live sessions include:
June 2 — Jams and Jellies
June 16 — Canning and Freezing Vegetables
June 30 — Canning and Freezing Fruit
July 14 — Pickles
July 28 — Salsa
You can view the recorded versions or listen live to sessions not yet presented by going to the following web page at https://go.osu.edu/FoodPreservationOfficeHoursRecordings.
Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for over 30 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.