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.

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Hennes Paynter Communications


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

Local Ebola concerns cause officials to pay more attention to West Africa
I have a better idea, let's secure our borders and spend those billions of dollars on our own first.

HUD and Cuyahoga Land Bank extend a housing deal for another year
Need to sale lot, and would like to know how to contact someone to see if they may be interested in the property that sat between two lots. If you can give me...

Akron Beacon Journal details abuse claims against televangelist Angley
In the early 90's I went forth for pray. And the man was anointed by the hand of God. Just a fact I will never forget

Lawmaker questions why a million voters didn't get absentee applications
He's a damn lie! I vote n all elections. I missed 1. Haven't gotten my absentee ballot and their making it hard to get one.

Thirsty Dog Brewery warns it might have to leave Akron
Why is it the city's responsibility to find this guy a location? There are a hundred realestate companies that could help him.

Kent State sends home three after contact with second Ebola-stricken nurse
Why weren't all health workers who were around Duncan quaranteened for 21 days and tested for Ebola? That's a no-brainer. Why was Vinson allowed to travel right...

New book says Willoughby Coal is haunted...and that's good for business
Would love to see a series of books that would just thrill me. I cannot wait to visit some of the locations. And revisit some of the locations I have already vi...

Cleveland Indians to continue with 'dynamic pricing'
pricing is too high for a family as well as people like me who are on a fixed income. Bleacher seats are cheaper but concessions are rediculous.

Kasich talks about faith, drugs and education -- but never FitzGerald
The idea that you can learn more by talking to a 90 year old person than from a history book is just another example of how the GOP hates education and knowledg...

Third-grade charter school students fail state testing
A partisan anti-charter group came out with analysis that ODE says is based on incorrect data. So why is this a story? It doesn't seem to rise to WKSU's typic...

Copyright © 2014 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