A few weekends ago, I visited my local farmers market, North Union Farmers Market in Shaker Square, to see what it was all about. All Clevelanders should know about this great resource for fresh produce.  It is also a fun weekend activity to help you get some fresh air before it becomes too cold and you'll be inside for the whole winter. Here is a quick overview of the history of North Union Farmer's Market:

North Union Farmer's Market has been around for 23 years and has accumulated around 300 vendors. There are eight locations, spread around Cleveland, including Crocker Park, Shaker Square, Legacy Village, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Clinic main campus, Playhouse Square, Sunset Market in Van Aken, and University Hospitals.

All of the produce that the vendors sell comes directly from their farms, so all of the fruits have a fresh flavor and organic taste.  Farmers markets can be overwhelming.  Here are a few of my suggestions, so you can hit the farmers market like a pro. 

Note: Some vendors might not be there on certain days, so check your local farmers market website before visiting.

Goodell Family Farm 

Charlotte Wasserman

The Goodell Family Farm sells the best maple syrup in Cleveland, hands down. They sell everything from maple salad dressing, maple glaze for meats, maple fudge, maple pumpkin pecan pie, and maple syrup drop cookies. Also, on the first three Sundays in March, they have a pancake brunch at their farm, so you can visit and enjoy with friends and family.

Bee Balm Creams and Soaps

Charlotte Wasserman

Bee Balm Creams and Soaps sells handcrafted soaps, lotions, lip balms, and candles that are all made with beeswax and natural essential oils. Also, there are no added dyes or artificial scents in any of the products. This is really important in today's world of cosmetics because people are realizing how bad some lotions and makeups really are for your skin. Ie how different ingredients can cause skin to dry up or even skin diseases.   After talking to the owners, I found that they make all of their products with ingredients to moisturize dry skin or cure eczema.

Their philosophy was derived from their childhood when they had bad eczema and their mom used to make these products for them to help hydrate their skin. Most products on the market are filled with chemicals, but everything they make is natural and  by hand. I found this super appealing because I have very sensitive skin. I also bought a lip balm, shampoo, body bar, and lotion. I am happy to say that I've used them and they were definitely worth it. My skin looks and feels great.

Yellow House Cheeses

Yellow House Cheeses sells meats, eggs, and of course, cheese. All of their products come from cattle on their farm, which has been family-owned for seven years. When I visited the farmers market, the only cheese I tasted was Towner's Road, which had an amazingly creamy and crumbly texture. You can buy their cheeses to serve as an appetizer, to put on top of salad. They also sell a wide range of poultrey, all of which they raise themselves.

Walnut Drive Gardens

Charlotte Wasserman

Walnut Drive Gardens sells strawberries, raspberries, tart cherries, blueberries, beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, and peppers. Since 1862, the Sal family has worked on Walnut Drive Farms, and it has been passed down by six generations. Currently, they own 230 acres of land to grow all of their fresh produce. I got to try the sweet corn and the tomatoes. I have never tried corn that tasted so crisp, sweet, and fresh at the same time. The tomatoes were very big and juicy, which is something I can rarely find at a grocery store. 

 If you want more details about this farmers market, make sure to check out their website. It lists the exact addresses for each location, tells you the dates that they are open, and shows you how you can sign up to be a vendor. So, if you're cooped up inside, get out and enjoy this perfect fall activity before winter arrives.