The Lebanon Farmer’s Market, located just west of the intersection of Main Street and Broadway, has new hours this year. It’s changed from 12:00 to 6:00 PM to 3:00 to 7:00 PM, and many of the vendors praised the change, saying that it’s brought plenty of foot traffic and that business is good.
It must be, because even though my recent visit to the market was on one of the hottest days of the year, there were customers browsing, tasting, and buying at most of the stands. Rebecca Case of The Rolling Pen, a cottage bakery, paused to describe the ambience of the market. “This is a historic town, which makes this market a fun place to be,” she said. The market of about fifteen vendors fit its tree-lined space just as well as it fits its Thursday afternoon time.
Even though The Rolling Pen’s yeast breads, rolls, and sweets were tempting, there was another bakery with equally tempting fare. Cathy Crisenbery of Crisenbery Baking described her methods as I sampled lemon-rosemary bread. “My ingredients are certified organic, and I buy from many of the other vendors here at the market. I get eggs from Webb Valley Farm or That Guy’s Farm, honey from Chris’ Honey, lavender from Mill Branch Farm, and fruit from Iron’s Fruit Farm. If I use anything imported, it’s certified fair-trade.” Several of Cathy’s customers took the time to recommend her tomato-herb bread, and she sells challah every other week.
Iron’s Fruit Farm had the greatest variety of produce, because they are part of a co-op that allows them to offer Ohio produce from other local farms, as well as fruits and jams from their own. Iron’s is a long- established farm in its fourth generation, and it’s right in Lebanon. They and the two bakeries already mentioned do not sell at any other Cincinnati area markets.
Glory’s and Shelton’s Farm, which actually represent two branches of the same farming family, were charmingly like stepping into a farmhouse kitchen to share whatever there was a bit more of than the families could use. They offered produce, preserves, and baked goods. Heather’s Goodies was a unique vendor, offering many savory fruit-hot pepper preserves, which are not available elsewhere in Cincinnati. Good Life Farm, Applecreek Farm and Twin Creek Seasonings rounded out the offerings.
The Lebanon Farmer’s Market is charming and cozy, yet still offers enough variety to pick up any midweek needs for a fresh and local supper.