Second Street Market

Second Street Market in Dayton, Ohio is one of those things that makes me wish I lived closer to a city. In fact, I would be there all the time if I lived closer.

This public market is part of the Five Rivers MetroParks system and is reminiscent of something you might see in Europe. Outside the 1911 Baltimore and Ohio Railroad warehouse, you’ll find all manner of vendors including farmers with their produce and fresh flowers.

There are crafters and other vendors too. Inside, you’ll find more of that along with folks selling Dayton products, handmade jewelry, fancy flavored olive oils, and locally grown meat.

There’s a walk-up coffee shop, a vegan place, a Chinese restaurant and a place that makes fresh bagels daily. My friend and I each had a breakfast bowl from a Mexican place – it was potatoes, eggs, salsa, peppers and queso served on a bed of fresh made tortilla chips. This was the best meal I’ve had in ages and friendly passersby even asked what we had that looked so good.

We also met a MetroParks employee who talked about growing herbs in containers. There was a guy playing guitar and the people watching was superb. Plus, everyone was friendly and the atmosphere is charming.

I couldn’t help but imagine strolling through here on a summer morning, basket in hand, to select perfectly ripe peaches and zucchini. I would treat myself to a bouquet of fresh flowers too!

A girl can dream!

They’re open year round on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Parking is free. Find them on Facebook or click here to visit their website for details.

Ava, Hunter and Hinslee’s Produce Stand

If you’re in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio and in need of pumpkins, mums and other outdoor fall decor, be sure to stop by Ava, Hunter and Hinslee’s Produce Stand just outside Logan.

The prices are good and the products are great quality. Plus, you’re helping a good cause. You see, the profits of this family business benefit the kids’ college funds. The kids are little and cute and it’s awesome to see a family teaching the value of hard work and saving money while learning to care for their merchandise and embrace an entrepreneurial spirit.

They had a yard full of mums of all colors when I stopped last night. However, I saw on Facebook this will be the last shipment of mums for the year. They’re four for $20, a real bargain considering their size and health.

Specialty pumpkins are eight bucks while others range in price from two to six dollars. Small gourds are a dollar each. I wanted to buy a fistful of these little guys. At .25 they were a bargain but I couldn’t think of a thing to do with them. That never stopped me from buying stuff before so that’s an unexpected regret!

They also have Indian corn and hay plus tomatoes, peppers, honey and jam. I picked up a jar of tomato jam that was made by a Lancaster company and can’t wait to try it.

They’re located at 14111 Old Mcarthur Road, Logan and are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There are two more things you need to know. This is a cash only business and you either need to bring exact change or be prepared to donate your change. You see, you pay by the honor system. You tally up what you have and drop your money in a tube.

There was another lady there filling up her Jeep with mums and pumpkins, joyfully picking out just the right ones. She said it was her third trip there because she likes to decorate outside for fall. Her husband would probably have a fit because she was buying more but the neighbors like it and she’s supporting a good cause.

Besides, we agreed that fall is the best season and we need to celebrate early and often. So go get you some pretty things for the porch or pick up some peppers and tomatoes for homemade salsa and help those youngsters get to college!

Click here to find them on Facebook.

The Games We Play: Healthy Food Edition

I learned something about myself last week. When there are nicely arranged platters of fruits and veggies in the fridge, I eat about five times more fresh produce in a day than if it were all packaged up in separate containers.

It would be lovely to say that I’m exaggerating but it’s true! I had made fruit and veggie platters for a small retirement get together for my dad. Leftovers came home with me and I nibbled on them till they were completely gone. So I made smaller versions and found myself eating fresh veggies with every single meal!

What can I say? I’m a visual person and I like pretty things! Oh, the games I play to be healthier!