The Ottawa Farmer’s Market returns to a familiar spot in the Orscheln’s Farm and Home parking lot.
Pat Campbell, Ottawa Farmer’s Market Association president, said the vendors decided to stay at Orscheln’s, 2008 S. Princeton St., Ottawa.
“In the future, we may address different locations,” Campbell said. “For the next two years, we are staying there at Orscheln’s. We will be right there just north of the [new] dentist office. That is where we were before, just a different format.”
The Farmer’s Market opens May 1 and runs through the end of October. The vendors will be at the market each Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning. The hours are 4-6 p.m. on Wednesdays and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Campbell said the vendors will be there rain or shine.
“The only time people don’t come is in the middle of the storm, lightening or when it is so awful hot,” Campbell said. “Produce is such a perishable product. We don’t offer anything but top quality of the produce or any product.”
Campbell said they will not open the market before the starting time.
“We are going to emphasize that this year,” Campbell said. “We stress that we can’t sell anything before our allotted starting times. We have an opening time each day. We always have a nice [crowd] at the start [each day] and then it stays steady the rest of the evening or morning.”
The Ottawa market always has a variety of products available for sale. Campbell said there are 19 full-time vendors this year.
“It is about the same the last few years,” Campbell said. “We have a couple of new ones coming on board this year. Obviously, we will be starting off slow because of the wet weather. We will have a full house in the middle of summer. It will be a slow start, but we will get there. We will have another good market this year.”
Campbell said many of the vendors have been stalwarts of the market.
“We have a good following of people and it has been the same group of vendors for quite awhile,” Campbell said. “People are getting acclimated to what we have. It puts a face with the product. It builds a sense of trust between the consumer and the and producer. They can talk to the producers.”
The market will offer fresh vegetables, fruit, honey, elk, beef, baked goods and more throughout the market season.
“There are a few vendors that will have 18-20 different varieties or options,” Campbell said. “The more product we have to offer to the public the more people will come to get their produce and baked goods. It will be a nice spread this year. We will have the baked goods, we will have fresh produce from several different vendors, fruits, honey, elk, beef and a couple other people may show up with [some] different things.”
Campbell said the first few markets may not have the variety or products available like during the summer.
“There may be some early greens, lettuce and spinach and asparagus,” Campbell said. “The beef, elk, baked goods and honey will be there. That is what will be there the first three or four markets until mother nature cooperates with us a little more. Just come out and see us.”