Park Place: Farm Fresh

Eating local just got easier. Here's what you can get at Countryside Farmers' Market, as well as several of the small working farms located within the park.

Countryside Farmers' Market This popular farmers market sets up shop at Howe Meadow on Saturday mornings in the summer and fall as part of the Countryside Conservancy's efforts to make the farms in Cuyahoga Valley National Park accessible to the public. More than 50 vendors, ranging from farmers to butchers to creameries sell to roughly 1,200 visitors each week. The nonprofit Countryside Conservancy first established pilot farms within the park in 2002 to support community-based, socially responsible food systems. They're also a nod to the valley's agricultural roots. "The initiative has 12 operating farms right now, and we'll have two more next year," says program director Darwin Kelsey. "And we're working to develop a nature education center on one of the farms." An additional farmers market takes place in Highland Square at Conger Avenue and West Market Street in Akron every Thursday evening. 4040 Riverview Road, Peninsula, 330-657-2542,, Howe Meadow: Sat 9 a.m.-noon from May 11-Oct. 26; Highland Square: Thu 4-7 p.m. from May 30-Oct. 3

1 Canal Corners Farm & Market Peppers, potatoes, eggplant, edamame and kale are some of the vegetables you can get here, but there's more than farming going on here. Started in 2009 and operated by the Wingenfeld family, this farm is entering its second year hosting live barn theater. Sat 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Sun 10-a.m.-2 p.m. 7243 Canal Road, Valley View, 216-624-3916,
2 Halko's Spring Hill Farm If Alan Halko isn't working the fields at his 11-acre farm, he's probably preparing for the farmers market at Howe Meadow. He also offers a roadside stand that operates on the honor system. Halko's bounty includes more than 20 varieties of tomatoes, including the old-fashioned Boxcar Willie, black cherry tomatoes and Pink Beauties. Hours available upon request. 9570 Riverview Road, Brecksville, 330-523-0590 HM
3 Greenfield Berry Farm July is the height of blueberry season and Daniel Greenfield will help you make the most of it. Visitors can pick their own blueberries, strawberries and raspberries on 4 acres during season-specific hours throughout the year. Hours available upon request. 2485 Major Road, Peninsula, 330-657-2924, HM
4 Basket of Life Farm This 30-acre farm is one of the largest in the park and is known primarily for its assortment of winter squash and its CSA. Poblano, New Mexico and Anaheim peppers are grown on the property alongside beets and turnips. Sun-Fri noon-7 p.m., Sat 9 a.m.-7 p.m. 4965 Quick Road, Peninsula, 440-476-2722, HM
5 Brunty Farms Jeff and Melanie Brunty collect, wash and pack more than 400 dozen eggs a week by hand on their 17-acre farm. They also process more than 600 pasture-raised meat chickens every other week. Pork and lamb are also available at their on-site stand. Mon-Sat 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 2470 Martin Road, Akron, 330-594-7315, HM
6 Neitenbach Farms An aspiring holistic health practitioner, Pamela Neitenbach incorporates her studies into the family business. The Neitenbach farm offers vegetables and medicinal herbs, including tinctures of echinacea and holy basil. Hours available upon request. 3077 Akron Peninsula Road, Akron, 330-321-9026, HM HS
7 Sarah's Vineyard The vineyard operates on 15 acres, three of which contain eight different kinds of grapes that go into eight different varieties of wine — all of which are served here on tap. Wed & Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri & Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 1-8 p.m. 1204 W. Steels Corners Road, Cuyahoga Falls, 330-929-8057,
Key: HM Countryside Farmers' Market at Howe Meadow HSCountryside Farmers' Market at Highland Square
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