End of October signaled end of season for

Loveland Farmer’s Market

By Chuck Gibson

LOVELAND, OH (November 2, 2020) – COVID-19 could not stop the Loveland Farmer’s Market (LFM) in 2020; only the end of October could close it down for the season.

Deann Gilmore demonstates the “touchless” trick-or-treat featured during the season finale of the Loveland Farmer’s Market 10/27/20 (Chuck Gibson)

The market started out with a far different look on Opening Day that first week in May 2020. Vendors came with pre-packaged goods for delivery to market customers who pre-ordered online and then simply drove through for the hand-off. It went smoothly, but somehow it wasn’t the same. Farmer’s/Vendors wanted to display their produce, products and baked goodies and renew old acquaintances. The Loveland Farmer’s Market faithful patrons wanted to walk around, browse and exchange greetings with old friends.

Whew! Thankfully, it came to pass, after a couple weeks, farmers brought their goods, opened up their stands, people walked about and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Of course the breath of that sigh was contained by a protective face mask in keeping with health and safety protocols during this pandemic time. Somewhere, someone must have said “and it was good.”  Oh wait, fast forward to that final week of October, market day, Tuesday, October 27. It was the season finale for Loveland Farmer’s Market. LFM owner/partner Donald “Woody” Woodruff said it out loud.

Donald “Woody” Woodruff, aka “The Hanging Judge” worked hard all season to help make the Loveland Farmer’s Market a success despite the pandemic challenges. (Chuck Gibson)

“With all the difficulties of 2020, our market has been very successful,” said Woodruff. “The people came out, they supported the vendors; the local business people and it kept them in business so, as times get better, they’ll still be here.”

Woodruff said it went beyond the farmers produce and goods. The Loveland Farmer’s Market – one of the only local farm markets to open this year – also provided opportunity for entertainers with live music every week. Then there was the finale special Halloween “touchless” trick-or-treating and costumes. Lots of witches were seen milling about and even behind the vendor stands.

Nancy Rice of Rice Family Harvest takes care of a customer on last day of Loveland Farmer’s Market for 2020 (Chuck Gibson)

It may have been an overcast day in a year the market was nearly overshadowed by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, but people came out and made the finale a fun day. Against all odds, it was a great way to close out a good season for Loveland Farmer’s Market. It was a good market for the vendors like Nancy Rice of Rice Family Harvest.

“Loveland Farmer’s Market has been a really good market,” said Rice.

Peggy “Good Witch” Goodwin along with a vendor (also wearing witches hat) during the LFM Season Finale 10/27/20 (Chuck Gibson

Rice admitted there were challenges starting out with a drive thru and so many unknowns with the pandemic and how the market would have to adjust. She was happy there was at least a way to bring goods to the market. After all, farming is her business. The market is the only way to make a living for the farmers.

“As a farmer, we rely on this,” Rice said. “This isn’t a hobby for us. We do this for a living. This is my husband and I, our only business. It was great they did this, because some markets did not. It took a lot of work for Woody, and Peggy and all the volunteers to put this all together. It doesn’t just happen.”

There was even “allergy Free” treats for trick-or-treaters at LFM finale 10/27/20 (Chuck Gibson)

It did happen thanks to Woody Woodruff and Peggy Goodwin, all the volunteers and all the vendors who came out every Tuesday from May through the end of October. It brought a little bit of normal to a year that has been anything but normal.

“I really appreciate what they did and I think all the others did too,” said Rice. “We could have things out, customers could see what they’re buying and it feels like a little bit of normal. That’s what customers kept saying; it feels like a little bit of normal. It was really good.”  

Visit Loveland Farmer’s Market online for more information