Gardeners' market to open with Covid guidelines in place
The second season of Noble Gardeners' Market launches Aug. 1. The market will operate at the corner of Noble and Roanoke roads from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, on Saturdays through Sept. 19.
Gardeners who grow fruit, vegetables and flowers in their yards or community gardens are welcome to sell. Each seller should bring a table or ground cloth on which to display items, and must be able to make change for customers. Sellers must sign in but are not charged for space, and sellers who live and grow outside Cleveland Heights are welcome to participate.
Some growers planted their gardens this spring to make sure they have something to sell at the market. One Richmond Heights man expanded his already-extensive backyard beds to grow a variety of tomatoes and peppers. A woman in Cleveland Heights planted her entire community garden plot in garlic, and expanded her home flower beds to make cut-flower bouquets to sell.
The market's setting has been enhanced by new landscaping provided by Barb Sosnowski and Laura Marks. New plantings, a curving rock wall, a redesigned pathway, and art installations are described in a June Observer article.
The market enjoyed its first full season last year. Nineteen different sellers participated, in total. Sellers are not required to participate every week. For their part, buyers learned to arrive early and figured out where to look for their favorite items. Flowers arranged in bouquets and divided perennials were popular in 2019. Other sellers sold bundles of freshly cut herbs. Along with peppers, garlic, tomatoes and squash, buyers took home ingredients for the freshest meals one could prepare on a summer evening.
Noble Gardeners' Market is registered with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which has provided the market with guidelines for operating in the Covid era. Tables will be set at proper distances from each other, and all participants must wear masks and practice social distancing. There are additional market-specific requirements; guidelines can be downloaded from www.nobleneighbors.com.
The Noble Gardeners' Market is not registered to sell processed food, so the salsas, jams and baked goods found in other markets may not be sold at this one. Flea market or arts and craft items also cannot be sold. Free parking is available in a city lot behind the CVS store across the street.
Although it is produce and flowers that bring people to the market, the bigger draw is the friendships that grow between people interested in gardening and garden bounty. As one observer said, "People come for the vegetables but stay for the conversation."
Brenda H. May
Brenda H. May is one of the leaders of Noble Neighbors.