The growing season is well under way in the Tri-State Area, and that means farmers' markets are popping up in our communities.
Area residents again will have the opportunity to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from area growers. And these area events also offer a pleasant place to spend a day or a part of the evening, relaxing with friends and family and enjoying the outdoors.
Many of the markets also offer the opportunity to purchase baked goods, crafts and other items from vendors who are part of the experience.
The season got under way last Wednesday, when the Farmers' Gateway Market returned to the parking lot of Eastern Gateway Community College. Selling hours at the market, which will be held each Wednesday through early fall, will run from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Downtown Steubenville's farmers' market returns June 20 at the former Grant School site on South Fourth Street. Local produce, crafts and baked goods will be available again this year. And the produce will change throughout the summer as different crops are available. Open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays, the market will continue into the fall.
Weirton's market, meanwhile, will make its return July 9, operating every Monday through Oct. 29 in the Goodwill parking lot on Penco Road.
Markets also will be held in other communities around the area.
In Follansbee, the farmers' market will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. every other Wednesday outside the Follansbee City Building on state Route 2 from July 18 through October.
And in Wellsburg, a farmers' market will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. every other Wednesday from July 25 through October outside of the Unity Apartments on state Route 2.
Two farmers' markets also will be open on Saturdays this summer in Harrison County.
The Hopedale Farmers Market is set to open on June 22 and will be open from 9 a.m. to noon every Saturday next to the Hopedale Fire Hall. And the Scio Farmers' Market will open this Saturday at the United Methodist Church in that village. The hours also are 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday.
The markets offer pluses on many levels. First, they give residents the chance to enjoy the nutritional benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. Second, they offer area farmers a chance to sell their products locally.
We hope that residents from all parts of the Tri-State Area will take some time from their hectic schedules and plan to relax a little by visiting a farmers' market.