DAYTON EATS: Winter farmers’ markets offer opportunities to enjoy specialty locally made food

Winter doesn’t need to bring with it an empty void of fresh, locally produced food. Sure, spring, summer and fall offer a seasonal bounty of options, but don’t count winter out.

With one in every eight Ohioans connecting to farming in some way according to the Ohio Farm Bureau, it’s important to find ways to support our local growers and farmers year-round, not just during warmer weather.

Agriculture is Ohio’s number one industry, contributing more than $105 billion to the economy. According to Ohio Proud, “Ohio is home to more than 1,000 food processing companies and produces more than 200 commercial crops. Of these, the Buckeye State is a leading producer in more than 35 product sectors.”

Here are some winter farmer’s markets that not only offer some great options to find fresh food, but they also offer the opportunity to find special gifts to buy for worthy recipients during the holiday season.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

2nd Street Market

600 E. Second St., Dayton

This charming local option is open year-round with a wide variety of local growers, bakers, culinary specialists and artisans. Hours are 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. This is a great spot to get specialty foods and gifts for the holidays. Bellbrook, chocolate Shoppe, Cabin Fever Confections, Donher Maple Products, Good Hands Bread Co., Maria’s Unique Foods, Mrs. Ernestine’s Pound Cakes, The Olive Tree and Poppets Coffee are just a few of the stops that I like to make when I am shopping for gifts. While you are there you can grab fresh produce from year-round growers including Carroll Creek Farms, Garber Farms and Harry’s Ole’d Country Orchard.

Deerfield Farmers Market

4188 Irwin Simpson Rd., Mason

Located under the Kingswood Park Pavilion, the Winter Market takes place every third Saturday from November to April from 10-11 a.m. Find locally made breads and baked goods, free range eggs, grass-fed beef, pork, chicken and lamb, jams, jellies, honey, syrups, locally roasted coffee organic vegetables and flowers. Favorite vendors include Applecreek Farm, Backyard Beanery, Cincy Urban Farm, Crackling Crust, Glory Farms, Goods From the Heart, M&S All Naturaal and Wild Holy Farm.

Findlay Market

1801 Race Street, Cincinnati

Findlay Market is the state’s oldest continuously operated public market. The historic market is the last remaining of the nine that once served Cincinnati. In 2019 Newsweek named it one of the top 10 public markets in the world. Located in Over-the-Rhine, the market is open year-round six-days per week. Hours for the market are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. Closed on Mondays. The Findlay Market Farmers Market is open year-round from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays in the Shed. Mark your calendar for Dec. 2 and 3 when they have more than 50 full time businesses stocked with food, drinks, decor and handmade goods for their annual Holiday Market. On Saturdays and Sundays in December the market will feature holiday music performed live by different choirs, bands and groups from around Cincinnati. For those who have never been, it’s worth considering purchasing a ticket to the Merry Market holiday tours that will happen Saturdays through Dec. 16. The tour is a stroll through the market and its more than 115 vendors sampling sweets, sipping on cheer and learning about this true Cincinnati gem decked out in its holiday finest.

Northside Farmers Market

4222 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati

The Northside Farmers Market has been in existence since 2002. It began as a couple of vendors selling out of the back of their trucks in a parking lot and has become a year-round farmers market selling products produced within 70 miles of Northside. This market, featuring goods from about 20 vendors is open for business on every Wednesday from December through March from 4 -6 p.m. Local businesses include Effloresce Herbals, Blue Oven Bakery, The Sweet Medina, Cluxton Alley Coffee, Wendigo Tea Co., Fab Ferments , Wildwood Flora and CinSoy Foods.

Oxford Farmers’ Market

East Park Place, Oxford

This year-round market takes place Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. until Noon. The beauty of this and other markets like it is that the food being sold is seasonal. Even if the item you’re looking for isn’t in season — and in Ohio, that’s going to probably be the case — there are other handcrafted and prepared foods available for purchase. This is a smaller market, but planning a trip here means you can shop and enjoy the rest of Oxford afterwards.

Credit: Ohio Farm Bureau -

Credit: Ohio Farm Bureau -

West Chester Market

Mulhauser Barn, 8558 Beckett Rd., West Chester

Winter market hours are 2-4 p.m. on alternating weekends through mid-March. Dec. 2 and 16 are the dates they will be open for business next month. Get everything from Elderberry Syrup from Botanical Blends by Kim to fresh mini donuts from Tweedle’s to homemade horseradish mustard and classic dill pickles from Pickled Paradise to handcrafted cake pops from The CakePop Shoppe. Getting food and gifts from local businesses is so meaningful to do in the quest to support our local economy and can be such a thoughtful and much appreciated gift for the recipient.

DAYTON EATS runs Sundays in the Life & Arts section of the Dayton Daily News and features the latest on menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes, and food adventures. Contact Contributing Writer Alexis Larsen at

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