News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Northeast Ohio Medical University

NOCHE


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Social Issues




Grown out roots in Ashland are a good thing
Local Roots of Wooster's idea for a hybrid farmers' market/grocery store is catching on not only in Ashland, but in other parts of the country
by WKSU's VIVIAN GOODMAN
This story is part of a special series.


Reporter
Vivian Goodman
 
Jacob Schwendemann is only 4, but already learning about healthy eating. Jacob, his mom, April, and baby sister Sara shop often at Local Roots, both in Ashland and Wooster.
Courtesy of Vivian Goodman
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A new approach to the community farmers’ market reached a milestone this month when Ashland Local Roots started opening six days a week. 

Business has been brisk for the hybrid grocery store and farmers’ market, the first offshoot of a grass-roots, local foods project initiated by farmers and community leaders in nearby Wooster. Ashland’s market is the Wooster Local Roots Cooperative’s first official franchisee. But as WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports in today’s Quick Bite, the concept also has taken root in other parts of the country.

LISTEN: The seed of a good idea takes root

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:26)


 “Thank you I’m so excited to have blueberries!”

Louise Fleming Dufala knows the fruit at Ashland Local Roots is farm-fresh. “So I pay a little bit more. I go out of my way to get it.”  

How it works
Farmers pay a $50 annual fee to bring produce here to be sold on consignment, just like at a resale clothing shop.

Community volunteers, who stock the shelves and run the register, stamp on bar codes to be swiped at the central checkout.

Farmer Jason Wesley just arrived from Pleasant Valley Growers in Lucas with fresh-picked berries and a bushel of summer squash. 

Overhead’s low enough for farmers like Wesley to get back 90 percent of gross receipts.

 Convenience for farmers and shoppers alike
“It goes right from the field to the table.”

At most farmers’ markets, the farmer has to be there. Not here.

“That’s another key component. We can’t be at multiple farmers’ markets when we’re at the peak of our business like the blueberries and the zucchini and the summer squash.”

Wesley can drop it off at Local Roots and get right back to his fields while his customers get his produce at the peak of freshness.

“If they can’t meet us at the Saturday morning Bellville Farmer’s Market, they can come up here to Local Roots and get it on Thursday.”

Imitators are cropping up
The model’s apparently working.

In the four years since it opened, Local Roots has sold $2 million worth of goods. And it has imitators all across the country.

Sally Baker drove 500 miles from the old mill village of Philmont, N.Y., to meet with Local Roots founders in Wooster. And she came away inspired.

“Fresh food delivery can actually be produced within little communities. That’s what Local Roots has developed. It’s a great model.”  

Philmont has about 1,400 residents.

Baker and a committee of volunteers of Philmont Beautification, Inc. hope to open their new market in about six to eight months.

A healthier community is one of the payoffs
Meanwhile in Huntington, W.Va, a non-profit co-op called The Wild Ramp just celebrated its second anniversary.

It was a 2010 Washington Post article about Local Roots and a celebrity chef’s slamming of Huntington’s eating habits that spurred Lauren Kemp’s group to come to Wooster for a workshop in 2012.

“When Jamie Oliver came to town to point out that Huntington is the fattest, most unhappy and unhealthy city in America, a lot of people were very upset by that. That’s when the city began to turn around.”   

Encouraging healthy eating was among the original goals of Local Roots. It’s easier now for Maryann Hutchins of Ashland to find what she wants for her children.

“Organic, non-GMO, no hormones, no antibiotics, really all of it. I’m trying to go as clean as I can be.”  

Food a mother can trust
She’s shopping at Local Roots today for organic zucchini and fermented vegetables with 3-year-old Leah by her side and 9-month-old Beau cradled in her arms.

“You can’t really find a lot of organic stuff in stores. And even if it is (there), I don’t know if I trust it. So this store’s been a blessing.”  

Eighteen-year-old Rachel Nowakowski of Ashland might be the market’s youngest volunteer. “I love the place. I love what we represent and do. Mostly I run the register and just help customers and tidy things up.”   

It’s an offshoot
Farmer Dave Benchoff of Banzhaf Garten Organic Farm helped get the Wooster market started. He now serves on the Ashland Local Roots steering committee.

"In Wooster we refer to this as the sprout.”   

They’re only 21 miles apart and many customers like April Schwendemann shop at both markets.

“We like to be able to buy our produce fresh. Of course it tastes better when it’s fresh. So we like to come here where we know where it’s come from. We know how it’s been raised.”  

She knows Dave Benchoff and most of the farmers, too.

Cultivating community
“We have our regulars who come once a week. They like to strike up conversations with people. And that’s what we want.”  

Local Roots in Wooster also has a popular café and has become a community clubhouse.

Benchoff feels the same energy building at the Ashland market.

“It’s headed that way. It’s growing. Like our T-shirt says: ‘Cultivate community.' " 

And that’s this week’s Quick Bite, next week we look at gluten from both culinary and medical perspectives.

(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook






Stories with Recent Comments

The generation gap in care for developmentally disabled Ohioans
I don't understand how a few hours a day of caregiving can possibly help a person who lives with complex/multiple disabilities. Many waiver recipients totally d...

Marijuana referendum may change more than pot's legal status in Ohio
If our representatives would act in accordance with the will of the people things like this wouldn't happen. They dragged their feet and blocked discussion on t...

Area pastors and congregation members protest justice system
I live in Cleveland. trust me when I say the high incarceration rate is due to the high crime rate.

Ohio's attorney general rejectsthe latest proposal to legalize marijuana
i think the ag launguage is money hes talking about drug companies must pay him more than responsible ohio can

PBS documentary chronicles the fall of Saigon through new footage and stories
Hi, Does anyone know the number - in the pbs special "Last Days of Vietnam" documentary, of how many Vietnamese were evacuated? Please e-mail me the answer. T...

Protest planned at tomorrow's FirstEnergy meeting
The problems of the poor and downtrodden have nothing to do with First Energy. They are the result of Republican legislators who consistently reduce taxes on th...

Ohio bill would help smaller communities with LGBT discrimination laws
Do we not try and have rights for all individuals equally? On the HUD list of "preferred" candidates who get "special consideration" it states that: For purp...

Ohio likely will continue with two types of police academies
Wake up people your wanting a Harvard law school education for a job that may pay a little over the poverty level. I don't know anyone who could support a wife ...

Police Week's ties from NE Ohio to D.C.
The men and women in blue who risk their lives everyday to serve and protect us....and this is as much recognition and appreciation that NPR/WKSU feels to offer...

First in a Series: How charter schools got a foothold in Ohio
If the interest where in education and there would be oversight of taxpayer dollars, charter schools would be okay. However, Charter School in Ohio are purely f...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University