By Angel Mai
Nov. 15, 2017
The Old Cheney Road Farmers Market will host its first Holiday Harvest Farmers Market on Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Park Centers Banquet Hall, 2608 Park Blvd. The other two Holiday markets will are set for Dec. 3rd and Dec. 12 during the same hours.
The Old Cheney Road Farmers Market is open annually every Sunday from the last one in April through the end of October, running as the longest market season in the state. This past year was Sarah Smith’s first year managing the market.
“We had fun,” she said. “It was a good year with lots of awesome vendors.”
Smith oversaw a number of additions to the market. The biggest was the Frequent Shopper Card, which allowed customers to redeem rewards after receiving enough punches from various booths. They had many returning shoppers during the season. They also provided interactive booths with professional chefs from various locations. They taught basic cooking techniques and helped build recipes using local foods. OCRFM partnered with the Nebraska department of agriculture to create a double-up system for customers with SNAP account-—previously known as the Food Stamp. This allowed families to get $40 worth of goods with only $20.
The market will run on the same seasonal schedule next year but with slight modifications, including a move to the College View neighborhood and a new name, which has yet to be decided.
The Holiday Harvest Farmers Market started in 2013 through a partnership with Open Harvest Coop Grocery and Community CROPS. This special indoor farmers market extends the growing season, supports local farmers and engages a respectful civic community. It began with two markets—one before Thanksgiving and one before Christmas—at the Auld Pavilion. Community CROPS wanted to extend the market season to show many techniques and uses for special crops, so the holiday market was created to meet the local demands with their extensive supply. Having outgrown the space at Auld Pavilion, this will be the market’s third year at the Park Centers Banquet Hall.
A new and exciting addition to the Holiday Market is the opportunity to order their goods online, courtesy of Lone Tree Foods. The ordering platform opened on Nov. 11 to allow shoppers to reserve bulk quantities of produce and products without carrying them around while exploring other booths. They also have access to online-only items and web specials. The order will be ready for pick up at the Lone Tree Foods booth at any time during the market hours.
Nutrition educators from the Department of Agriculture will have samples and recipes at the first two markets, which will also make the use of SNAP accounts when possible. Customers with SNAP can receive up to $10 in free SNAP tokens with a dollar-for-dollar match and up to $10 in Double Up Food Bucks coupons. Another addition is that Community CROPS will have information on special crops for the winter season and information on making jams and jellies.
Two bands will be playing at each market, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. This Sunday’s market will feature The Midnight Wanderers and The Bottle Tops. The McGovern Stringband and The Wildwoods will play on Dec. 3, with Root Marm Chicken Farm Jug Band and The Time Burners on Dec. 12. Music is sponsored by KZUM.
Shoppers can expect an abundance of locally grown produce and farm products such as salad greens, turnips, beets, onions, potatoes, carrots, herbs and rutabagas. Other products include goat cheese truffles by ShadowBrook Farms, fresh ginger, wild fruit jams and jellies and gift baskets. Some special vendors include Grandview Farm. who will bring their world-renown brussel sprouts and Robinette, who will carry micrograins and sunflower sprouts. Other producers will even have meats, cheeses and breads. A full list of products can be found on the website at holidayharvestfarmersmarket.com.
- The full list of vendors: