Every Saturday, for six months out of the year, in Harrison Township. - an area hard hit by the Memorial Day Tornado outbreak - a small farmer’s market operates at the corner of N. Main St and Philadelphia Dr.
There can be as many as nineteen vendors - growers, bakers and other artisans - selling their products each week. The market is managed by Zella Cook. Together, with her husband, they own a small farm in nearby Perry Townnship, called Cook’s Garden.
Zella and Steve manage to produce a lot on their small few acres of earth, and it’s there that we met the couple to hear more about their farm, and in particular, the Shiloh Farmers Market which they’ve managed to keep open each Saturday since the storms caused so much damage.
Zella says the market has fared well since the storms, thanks to volunteers who made sure it was up and running.
"We're very thankful that we could have our market the last two Saturdays right after the tornado that Shiloh Church worked very, very hard to clear the whole parking lot of all the debris that came down with the trees, and many members of the church and the community came forward to help us have that happen," she said. "Our signs survived which we're so surprised they didn't get blown over into some other part of the town and they were quite bent but we were able since their metal to straighten them up and we were up and going again that Saturday night after the tornado."
Zella says the Shiloh Farmer's Market has been operating successfully for over twenty-one years - she describes it as an integral part of the community.
"We feel like we are a part of a happen, where people can come and, not just buy your vegetables, but have an experience of meeting the people who grow your food. Meeting the baker that baked it. Meeting the farmer that grew the chickens that you're buying, and meeting the produce vendors that are working hard."
Cook says this year has been especially tough on farmers this year because of the wet spring weather. And though attendance at the market has been low since the recent storms that caused so much damage in the Miami Valley, but Zella wants residents to know that they are still up and running every Saturday.