The village of Shawnee in Perry County, Ohio is home to a vibrant history of Appalachian heritage, coal mining, Victorian-era architecture, outdoor recreation on the Buckeye Trail and Wayne National Forest— and recently, a growing farmers market.
The Shawnee Farmers Market (SFM) runs the first Friday of every month, May through October, and is organized by a grassroots network of Shawnee residents, local government, and nonprofit organizations including Destination Shawnee, Southern Perry Incubation Center for Entrepreneurs (SPICE), Rural Action, and the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet). The final market of the season is Friday, October 7th from 5-7pm in Shawnee.
This year marks a new period of growth as Rural Action leads the SFM in the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), a USDA grant intended to expand direct producer-to-consumer markets and increase access to availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products. ACEnet staff, in partnership with Rural Action, SPICE and Destination Shawnee, have been supporting the growth of the SFM through board development, formalizing management plans, and connecting with mentor markets throughout the region including the Meigs County Farmers Market and Lancaster Farmers Market.
This summer’s successes include newly secured vendors, increased monthly attendance and sustained engagement from the community. The market’s newest vendor, Pasture Fowler, is a pasture-based poultry farm in Rockbridge and has been a popular feature at the market with high-quality local chicken. Other popular vendors include Steve’s Bees local honey, cottage food products, baked goods, jams and jellies.
This summer, SPICE’s booth offered a wide selection of seasonal fruits, vegetables and crafts from the Chesterhill Produce Auction (CPA), a social enterprise of Rural Action where farmers sell produce, livestock, wood products and handcrafted items. In addition, Rural Action’s booth regularly featured local garlic and tomatoes from the CPA, beautiful bouquets from Down the Road Farm and an assortment of seasonally available produce.
Handcrafted and vintage items from Shawnee Mercantile and local history and crafts from Ohio’s Winding Road Marketplace offer a unique shopping experience at the market; both storefronts are located on Main Street in downtown Shawnee. Live music and food trucks have also become a popular staple at the market and continue to draw in community members for Friday evening entertainment.
The Shawnee Farmers Market supports ongoing work to highlight local history, arts, entrepreneurs, outdoor recreation and regional agriculture in Shawnee. A robust and collaborative network of nonprofit organizations and local government entities keep the culture of Shawnee alive through annual events, education, outreach, and outdoor activities for the community. These organizations include Destination Shawnee, Ohio’s Winding Road, Tecumseh Theater, Little Cities of Black Diamonds, Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area, Buckeye Trail Association, and Trail Town Shawnee. Join us for the final market of the season on Friday, October 7th from 5-7pm in Shawnee.
Community Update and photos by ACEnet Project Coordinator & Trainer, Bailey Grenert