I’ve loved buying fruits and veggies from Mrs Rhoads at the North Market (and as of last year, Clintonville and Dublin) Farmers Market for the past few years, with an awareness that her farm was based out of Circleville. It’s funny how one can buy their food at a farmers market, speak directly to the farmer that grows their food, and still have a disconnect between that and the actual farm.
So, like I said, I knew their farm (and their main farm market) was in Circleville, but had no idea what a massive presence they had in the area or the interesting family history behind it. Even to this day, the farm, the market and the nursery are a multi-generational family business. I managed to get down to Circleville to visit the farm and the market last summer, and was super impressed by what I found.
I was expecting a little roadside stand/market, but what I found instead was a state-of-the-art full fledged market, located just down the road from their farmland. Mr. Rhoads was kind enough to take me on a driving tour of their farm, and the best way to describe it is sprawling and extremely diverse. Acres and acres of some of the most beautiful produce you could imagine.
I was there near the end of last summer (I’m getting around to posting this now, at the beginning of their growing season), so it was right in the middle of peach season. I had never had a perfect peach until last summer. You know, the kind where you can smell how sweet and juicy it’s going to be? Last year was a fantastic year for peaches, and Rhoads had the best of the bunch. They were so good last year that I drove to Circleville in the middle of the week so that I wouldn’t have to wait until the next Saturday until I could have some more. And they didn’t let me down, with their peaches being front and center the second you walked into the market.
Last year wasn’t the best year for tomatoes, but even Rhoads’ offerings were solid on that front.
I love melon, but can never commit to an entire one of any kind – I love that they offered cut melon for those of us who aren’t trying to feed a large number of people.
Still, if whole melons were what you were looking for, they had those too.
In addition to whatever seasonal produce is available (for instance, during this time of years it’s some of their fantastic strawberries), they also offer a refrigerator full of Ohio meats, cheeses, dairy, and other farm fresh goodies from around the state.
Along with a full selection of local to Ohio canned and dry goods:
Are other veggies that they grow on their farm that are a bit more perishable
along with produce from other parts of the country (ensuring that no matter what time of year you visit, there will always be something available).
It’s amazing what is right down the street from us (a half hour away in Circleville, actually) if you just take the time to look. At the very least, take a second to introduce yourself to Mrs. Rhoads the next time you’re at the North Market Farmers Market – she’s a really nice person, and loves to talk about her farm and the things they grow on it. I encourage you to support local farms, and check out the great food that’s being grown in your own backyard. I hope that this is the first of many roadside farm stands that I profile this summer.
If you’d like to go: Rhoads Farm Market, 1051 SR 56 East, Circleville, OH 43113, 740-474-2028