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July 11 , 2013

Plaza construction delays farmers market

By Alexandra Murray

The North Union Farmers Market’s annual return to Cleveland State’s campus has been delayed by the reconstruction of Star Plaza. Cleveland State University and Play House Square’s joint partnership is working with the farmers market to bring them to the plaza.

Farmers' Market, Shaker SquareThe delay left many Cleveland State University faculty, students and residents of the downtown area with questions about what had happened to the beloved farmers market that produced their sweet summer treats. One student, Paul Moore, missed the ample variety of snacks the market had to offer.

“I love their freshly made popcorn covered with caramel,” Moore said. “I walked by every day waiting. I looked and asked around, but no one seemed to know why the market never showed up.”

According to Donita Anderson, executive director of the North Union Farmers Market, the market will be opening at the onset of Ohio’s growing season. The opening will take place on Thursday, July 25, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Star Plaza, located on Euclid and East 14th.

Faremrs' market“Shoppers can expect to find fresh fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, peaches, melons, sweet corn, berries, green beans, greens and more that Ohio farms have to offer,” Anderson said.

Anderson conceptualized and co-founded the farmers market after moving to Cleveland in 1985. One of the many inspirations for the North Union Farmers Market was Anderson’s participation in the Traverse City food co-op in 1980. That inspired her to embark on a journey to find sources of local, healthy foods in Cleveland.

“I discovered a dearth of access to fresh and local foods after moving from Traverse City, Michigan to the greater Cleveland area,” Anderson said.

During her search she wound up at the front door of farmers east of Shaker Heights in order to buy locally grown produce.

“I not only loaded my car full of fresh products and produce for my family, but for my neighbors as well,” Anderson said.

Ten years later, with the additional help of founding board president Mary Holmes and many others, the very first farmers market took place on a Saturday in 1995 at the location known today as Shaker Square.