To Market, To Market
The down-on-the-farm fresh taste of vine-ripe tomatoes and vegetables, tree-ripened fruit, hand-picked eggs, mouth-watering baked goods, and crafts handmade by artisans are just a few of the many wares that will soon be available for the first time in Olde Pickerington Village.
Beginning June 6 and running through Sept. 26, the Olde Pickerington Farmers’ Market will open for business each Thursday from 4-7 p.m. at 89 N. Center St., where it intersects Town Square Drive in the village. The downtown market will be closed on July 4.
“We’re thankful city officials are allowing us to use their property for the market and we appreciate the staff’s assistance,” said Maggie Arendt, the secretary of the Olde Pickerington Village Business Association (OPVBA) and one of the event organizers.
Bringing the open-air market to the village was a “big venture,” Arendt said, for the OPVBA, the volunteer organization sponsoring the event.
“We want to give Pickerington residents an opportunity to buy fresh produce directly from Fairfield County farmers,” Arendt said. “We also want to bring people to Olde Pickerington Village so they can see how charming it is. Most of the shops and restaurants will be open during the Farmers’ Market.”
OPVBA hopes community members will take time to stroll into the shops and restaurants in the village to discover just what the Olde Village has to offer.
To participate in the Farmers’ Market, vendors must register in advance, pay fees for the days they attend and provide proof of liability insurance. Applications and regulations for participants can be found on the OPVBA website, www.pickeringtonvillage.com.
The nearly two-acre site for the event makes it convenient for farmers, bakers, artisans and shoppers.
While treasure is not buried in Pickerington’s Olde Village, members of the Olde Pickerington Village Business Association (OPVBA) believe there are gems offered in the historical village that are just waiting for more residents to discover them.
As a result, the volunteer organization is busy at work planning events its members hope will drive people to the village in search of the treasure.
The OPVBA wants residents to realize that Pickerington’s downtown is the place where everything in the Violet City began, and it is still blooming.
“It is important for the community to know that there is a group in our downtown that is trying to promote our history and our community, said Sandy Melillo, president of the OPVBA. “The city of Pickerington is doing an amazing job recognizing the significance of our historic downtown and they have been so supportive of us.”
The OPVBA is working hard to preserve the historical integrity of the community, attract business to the village and encourage people to shop and dine in the village to keep the old city vibrant.
“The communities that are working on economic development to bring businesses to their towns concentrate on quality-of-life issues, including community-based events. I’m proud of the fact that we do so much with so little,” said Peggy Portier, historian for the Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society. “We organize several events in the Olde Village each year that are free to try to bring the entire community together.”
While most of the events are free, one was a fundraiser that benefits the after-proms of both Pickerington high schools. On May 3, a chocolate hop gave chocolate lovers a chance to stop by village businesses to satisfy their sweet tooth and get a taste for what the village has to offer.
The four other OPVBA events are free and open to the public.
On June 6, farmers, bakers and artisans will offer their fresh produce, baked goods and crafts for the first time in Pickerington. Every Thursday, except July 4, the market will open for three hours beginning at 4 p.m. on a nearly two-acre parking lot located at 89 N. Center St., where it intersects Town Square Drive.
On June 7, dogs, cats and other leashed pets will be taking over the village streets for the annual Olde Pickerington Village PetFest from 6-8:30 p.m.
Pet-related vendors and food concessions will line West Columbus Street to make the pampered pet a part of the activities. At 7:30 p.m., leashed pets will be on parade and paw their way down Columbus Street.
To add a bit of spice to life, the Olde Pickerington Village BeanFest will challenge Pickerington residents to the second annual chili cook-off, which will be held on Sept. 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. between Columbus and Center streets. Residents will be able to sample and vote on their favorite chili, listen to live music, and dine on food provided by vendors and restaurants.
The spirit of the holidays will draw visitors to the village for the Olde Pickerington Village Holiday Gathering, sponsored by the OPVBA and the Pickerington Recreation Department.
The family-friendly event is held Dec. 6 from 5-8:30 p.m. and features horse-drawn carriage rides, children’s crafts, storytelling, strolling carolers, holiday lights and luminaries, the lighting of Pickerington’s Christmas tree, and even a visit by Santa.
With all these events planned for the year, there is no wonder that the OPVBA is proud to open its treasure box of businesses for the community’s enjoyment.
The city of Pickerington has never had to start a youth sports program through the
Parks & Recreation Department because of a strong, nonprofit volunteer organization that has filled that need: the Pickerington Youth Athletic Association (PYAA).
The organization’s office and main playing fields are in the city, and while PYAA has grown over the years, the original sport was football.
Pickerington’s powerhouse pigskin teams are packed with players who started handling the football when they were pint-sized PYAA players and could barely hold up their shoulder pads and helmets.
For approximately 50 years, PYAA Football has been training young players to throw, snap and kick a football, all while emphasizing the importance of having fun.
“Football became very popular in America once they started playing the Super Bowl in the 1960s, so a group of parents decided to form a league,” said Bill Stoddard, president of PYAA football.
Each year, approximately 350 participants, ages 5-11, suit up for the season.
“The purpose of the program is to teach the kids the proper way to play and learn the game of football, have fun and always exhibit good sportsmanship,” said Stoddard.
Before the first kickoff of the season, a dedicated group of volunteer coaches work with the young players on conditioning and drills to get them in shape and ready to take the field.
Practices begin the last week of July and are a few nights a week, but never on Fridays or on the weekends.
Each child is issued a helmet, a mouthpiece, a chin strap, shoulder pads and two jerseys.
PYAA is buying new helmets and shoulder pads this year for each player because it has been one of the nonprofit organization’s most pressing needs, Stoddard said.
The program is entirely funded by the $155-per-player participation fees and donations.
Those Pickerington residents beginning their pigskin adventures at the age of 5 do not have to worry about scoreboards, because no tally is kept for the young players.
“Like all sports PYAA offers, (football) gives the kids in our community a chance to safely play a sport that he or she likes,” Stoddard said.
PYAA football teams compete against each other at the PYAA Sports Complex and the Milnor Road Complex.
All games are held on Saturdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
“PYAA Football has been very successful over the years, and we are very proud to be the oldest sport in PYAA Sports. The captains for both Central and North this year all came through the PYAA program,” Stoddard said.
The PYAA program has had hundreds of kids go on to play in college, and even some have played professionally.
“Pickerington has become one of best football cities in the state and we are very proud that we have contributed to it in some way,” Stoddard added.
Helping young athletes realize their pigskin potential is the way the PYAA football program makes its goals.
For more information about PYAA Football, to make a donation or for a look at all of the programs offered by PYAA, contact the office at 614-920-9635 or log on to www.pyaa.org.
Fall 2013 Registration
Cheer (girls grades K-6) began May 1 Tackle Football (boys age 5 to grade 6) begins June 1
Fall Softball (grades 1-12) begins June 1
Fall Baseball (ages 4-14) begins June 1 Volleyball (girls and boys grades 3-12) begins July 1 Flag Football (girls and boys age 4 to grade 12) begins July 1 Fall Lacrosse (girls and boys grades 1-6) begins Aug. 1
Bowling (girls and boys grades 3-12) begins Aug. 15
Registration dates subject to change. Check www.pyaa.org for changes.
It’s Car Wash Season!
By Chad Lucht, CPESC, Sr. Urban Specialist, Fairfield Soil and Water Conservation District
Spring has sprung! And with spring comes bugs: bugs on your windshield and bugs all over the front of your car.
Giving your vehicles a well-deserved bath in the driveway doesn’t sound like a bad thing, but when washing vehicles, consideration should be given to where the soapy water and sediments drain. Commercial vehicle wash facilities recycle waste water or route it to a sanitary sewer. People commonly choose to wash vehicles on paved drives and, without thinking, allow the waste water and any associated pollutants to flow to the street and down the storm drain, which goes untreated into the nearest waterway.
What can you do to be environmentally conscious when washing your car? Below are some ideas to help keep the soap and sediments from entering our local streams.
Wash vehicles on the lawn. Use the green space of your yard to filter runoff. Plants and soil will aid in the breakdown of soaps, chemicals and sediments rinsed from your car. Cleaners and other chemical products should be used sparingly to reduce the environmental impact. And your yard benefits from the extra moisture.
Use a nozzle that lets you stop the flow of water between rinses. Using a bucket also reduces the amount of water used. Conserve water whenever you can.
Drain waste water to a sanitary sewer. Take a moment to find out where the drains on your property drain to, whether it is a sanitary sewer, storm sewer system, on-site septic system or directly to a ditch or stream.
Use a commercial vehicle wash facility. Again, these facilities will recycle the waste water though filters or route it to a sanitary sewer. There are both self-wash and full-service facilities available.
Fairfield County is Growing … Local Foods!
By Holly Mattei, AICP, Executive Director, Fairfield County Regional Planning Commission
In 2011, Fairfield Growing: An Agricultural Economic Development Plan was adopted by the Fairfield County Board of Commissioners to
help increase the connections between the county’s farmers, processors and retailers in an effort to promote the production and consumption of local foods. This plan includes more than 50 recommendations within eight categories to help encourage the development of agricultural support industries.
This plan has spurred a lot of energy around the county, which is evident at the Fairfield County Local Food Council meetings. The Local Food Council emerged from Fairfield Growing and has become a forum where local farmers, processors and business leaders meet to discuss food efforts in the county. These meetings have created several business-to-business connections, including some connections with non-agriculture related industries, such as the One Write Company.
One Write Company, along with its Blue Label division, is a local printing company located in Lancaster. This company has been in business for over 50 years and focuses on printing, labeling and marketing services. After learning about Fairfield Growing, Norm Boyd, president of One Write, started to attend the Local Food Council meetings.
“As part of the Local Food Council, we have been able to equip county growers and businesses with labels, packaging and brand consistency to make easier the decision for consumers to buy local,” said Boyd.
“It is very important that we continue to create an environment that fosters working relationships between our local businesses,” said Travis Markwood, president of the Lancaster-Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce. “The efforts of the Food Council are bringing local companies, producers and suppliers together to create a local market for their goods and services that has not been fully leveraged in the past. This is a win-win for small and large business in Fairfield County.”
The Lancaster-Fairfield County Chamber is a member of the Local Food Council, as is the Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chambers have been instrumental in promoting local food efforts.
The Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce has assisted by connecting the Food Council with the Olde Pickerington Village Business Association (OPVBA). OPVBA will be hosting the Olde Pickerington Farmers’ Market starting June 6. This market will include area farmers, bakers and artisans offering fresh produce, herbs and other home-baked goods. The market will be located at 89 N. Center St. (at Town Square Drive) and will run each Thursday from 4-7 p.m. through Sept. 26, except for July 4.
The Lancaster-Fairfield County Chamber includes an Agricultural Committee and hosts an annual agricultural event to bring the farming community and other business leaders together. In 2012, the Chamber’s annual event was a Taste of Fairfield County Agriculture. It was an opportunity for the county’s business leaders and farmers to display their products and provide food tastings of the county’s finest agricultural products.
There were more than 130 attendees and approximately 20 vendors at this Chamber event.
The Bremen Farmer’s Auction was among the participants at this event and is also a member of the Local Food Council. The auction opened for business in 2012 and provides the southeastern part of the county with access to fresh produce throughout the growing season from the local Amish community. The Local Food Council provides an opportunity for this newly formed business to share ideas and to make other business connections within the county.
Bay Food Market has been serving the Lancaster area since 1932 with locally butchered meats and is also a member of the Local Food Council. The market has also teamed up with the Fairfield Medical Center during the Food Council meetings and is now selling local meat products to the center to sell in its cafeteria.
“Selling ground beef to Fairfield Medical Center has enabled us to purchase more livestock from Fairfield County farmers, who in turn purchase feed and supplies from Fairfield County feed stores, keeping more money in the local economy,” said Karen Crutcher, co-owner of Bay. “We started by selling only ground beef to Fairfield Medical Center, but have added additional items and several of their employees are now customers, too. We also purchase fresh produce from the Bremen Farmer’s Auction during the growing season.”
From the large institutional buyer to the small farming operation to the non-agricultural related business, the Local Food Council has provided an opportunity to a variety of businesses to start a conversation and find new business opportunities. The Local Food Council is open to all and continues to seek new businesses that may be interested in participating.
If you believe your business may benefit from this Council, please feel free to attend. The Council meets the second Tuesday of every month during the lunch hour (noon-1 p.m.) at the Fairfield County Agricultural Center, 831 College Ave., in Lancaster.
To connect with us online, visit www.facebook.com/fairfieldgrowing.
An Ounce of Prevention…
By Battalion Chief Jim Paxton
The sounds of lawnmowers and power tools signify that summer has arrived.
Green grass and fresh blooms create a sense of hope and life, adding to the excitement and anticipation of prom, graduation, vacations and social gatherings. The days grow longer and warmer, and we spend a great amount of time outside tasked with accomplishing this season’s outdoor projects.
It is also a time of injury and accidents.
The Violet Township Fire Department records an increase in incidents during the warm weather months. The increase is typically comprised of heat-related emergencies, falls, back injuries, lacerations and fires related to lawnmowers, grills and open burning.
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” A few simple precautions can help make your spring and summer more enjoyable and safe.
-Stretch. A few moments spent stretching can go a long way toward preventing pain and strains.
-Survey the area where you will be working.
-Remove or mark debris and trip hazards.
-Call before you dig to have underground utilities identified. Call 811 or use E-dig at http://newtin.oups.org/newtinweb/oups_edig.html.
-Take notice of overhead power lines prior to raising or working from ladders.
-Wear the right equipment.
-Ensure equipment and power tools are in proper working order.
-Safeguards and safety features should be intact and functioning properly.
-Use and store hazardous and combustible materials properly.
-Check gas and propane grills prior to use.
-Look for debris and critter nests in the interior.
-Check unions, fittings and knobs for leaks.
-Keep functioning and hot grills away from any structure.
-Call the fire department prior to having open burns or bonfires.
-Find out if there are any restrictions .
-Alert us to your intentions so a fun event is not alerted as an actual fire by a passers-by.
-Wear sunscreen, eat properly and stay hydrated.
-Do not overdo it!
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup sugar (can reduce to ¾ cup)
- 1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)
1. Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and 1 cup water in a small sauce pan until the sugar is dissolved completely.
2. While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from four to six lemons, enough for one cup of juice.
3. Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.
4. Serve with ice and sliced lemons.