Today we ate the most delicious tomatoes! Fully ripe-off-the-vine red and orange heirloom tomatoes, sliced and shared with family members on our sandwiches for lunch on Sunday...
Thank you, garden marketers!! ~ Emailed to us 9/2/18
Second Week Success!
Seven sellers brought tomatoes, sorrel, garlic, herbs, and a variety of peppers. Potted plants, cut flowers and transplant hostas sold to eager buyers. One neighbor family came because their kindergarten daughter saw our signs and insisted they all come. She had a list of vegetables she wanted to buy. Alas, we didn't have carrots this week, but she was delighted with her bag full of cherry tomatoes! Another visitor is a new homeowner in the neighborhood - she moved here from the south side of Cleveland Heights and loves her new neighborhood. Others talked about the garden they grew with their grandfathers, precious memories they now want to experience with their own grandchildren.
This is the strength of our Noble Gardeners' Market concept. It's even more about building community than it is about plants, delightful cherry tomatoes not withstanding!
We have one more week of "seed planting," our effort to gauge how much interest there is in a full season gardeners' market. Join us on Saturday, Sept. 8. We're learning from sellers and buyers how they'd like to participate next year and what market features they would enjoy. We'll especially need to work on having carrots next year!
Scroll down to learn about our first week and how you can participate on September 8.
First Day Phenomenon!
More than 40 people showed up at the first Noble Gardeners’ Market on Saturday, Aug. 25. They voiced a tremendous interest in buying produce from their neighbors, looking for tomatoes, zucchini, green beans—even corn.
Are you a grower? The market needs you on its next two market days—Sept. 1 and 8, 10 a.m. to noon.
Flowers sold quickly, and perennials were a hit, too, but marketgoers begged for vegetables. It's OK if you only have a few extra vegetables to sell. Having you there will help everyone envision the market's 2019 season.
At the Aug. 25 market, buyers grabbed up cut flowers, seeds and ready-to-plant chives and perennials.
Visitors walked in from nearby streets and several drove in from other areas of Cleveland Heights and South Euclid.
Members of Cleveland Heights' community gardens on Hampstead, Canterbury and Montford roads excitedly discussed the spring 2019 planting season, including plans to grow items for the market. Now that gardeners know they will be able to sell their excess produce, there is a new excitement about next year’s growing season.
Montford Gardeners sold flowers and seeds as a fundraiser for their garden while recruiting new gardeners. One woman who lives a few streets away brought two boxes of her Concord grapes from her 80-year-old backyard grapevine. Inspired, new gardeners talked with community garden leaders about renting space for the upcoming season.
Scroll down to read how you can participate for the next two weeks!
August 25, September 1 & 8
Noble Gardeners’ Market
10am – Noon
Saturdays August 25 and September 1 and 8
Roanoke and Noble mini-park
Gardeners are invited to sell fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers grown in Cleveland Heights community gardens and back yards from 10am to noon on Saturdays August 25 & September 2 and 8. No processed food may be sold at this event*.
The site for the market will be the mini-park at Roanoke and Noble, one block north of Monticello, a reclaimed parcel. Formerly it was occupied by a gas station and, thanks to superfund monies, was cleaned and landscaped by the City of Cleveland Heights. Gardeners representing Noble Neighbors, a local grassroots organization, have planted a public perennial garden on the corner and tend perimeter gardens on the site.
“A gardener’s market in our new mini-park is a logical next step for the City’s collaboration with Noble Neighbors,” says Carol Roe, mayor of Cleveland Heights. “One of the distinguishing features of Cleveland Heights is its history of creative grassroots involvement. The City government functions best when it recognizes and supports those efforts.”
Noble Neighbors leader Brenda May calls the planned market a “seed planting” effort, tipping the hat to its multiple meanings. Says May: “We’re starting small – just a few weeks, just a few gardener/growers, and just a few items to sell. Our hope is that both sellers and buyers will be able to imagine our market’s possibilities and prepare for next summer’s sales as they plant community garden and back yard plots in the spring of 2019.”
She adds: “Community building is our highest priority, which makes this event unique among the numerous farmers’ markets in our region. This is about neighbors meeting up with neighbors and sharing the abundance of their gardens and the gifts of new friendships.”
--This is not a flea market/craft sale event. Only fresh vegetables, fruit and flowers may be sold.
--Sellers must bring their own table or ground cloth and must be able to make change for customers.
--Sellers will be asked to sign in and declare where their produce was grown.
--Only gardeners who grow in our city are invited to sell.
No truck farmers from outside our city. (Support them elsewhere!)
--Sellers will not be charged for space.
--Sellers must clean up and take away all items and disposables by noon.
--*About that “no processed food” rule – we don’t have permission this year to sell your famous salsa or your to-die-for frozen fruit smoothie, even if you grew all the ingredients in your back yard. That next step involves health department input. Remember – we’re starting small, "planting seeds” of an idea. We’ll work on that processed food idea for the future.
-- Please be aware that there are no utilities on site – no electricity or water.
-- Buyers should come with small bills and lots of coins. Remember, the sellers are neighbors, not business people with cash registers!
--Street parking is available at meters on Noble or for free on side streets.
Noble Neighbors is grateful for the support the City of Cleveland Heights has provided.
Questions? Email us: NobleNeighbors@gmail.com
Noble Gardeners' Market FAQs
What time do I need to arrive to set up my table?
Assuming you're bringing a few baskets full and not a truckload, arrive 15 - 30 minutes before 10am to fill out some forms and set up your table.
May I sell veggies that were grown outside of Cleveland Heights even if I live in Cleveland Heights?
No, only vegetables, fruits and flowers that were grown in your Cleveland Heights backyard or in a Cleveland Heights located community garden may be sold at this market.
Are you telling us what prices we can charge?
Nope! Pricing is up to each seller. Keep in mind that people shop at local grocery stores and at other local farmers' markets. They know what produce costs and they know who is charging a premium! Do a bit of homework by going to these stores and markets to learn the weekly prices. Then, underprice your competitors!
Are the vegetables organically grown?
Buyers need to inquire of each seller about their growing practices. Some gardeners adhere to organic principles, others may have used fertilizers or pest control methods which do not meet organic standards.
May I purchase produce if I live outside the city?
Certainly! Bring small bills and coins. Your seller/neighbor may have a hard time making change for your $20 bill. Unless, of course, you plan to purchase all they bring to market!
My zucchini plant produced way more than I need, but I don't have anything else to sell.
May I just sell my dozen extra zucchini?
Yes! Remember that this type of market has a different focus. It's not about farmers selling bushels of produce (although we're grateful they do sell in other nearby markets!). This is about building community and celebrating our connections. Your few tomatoes or zucchini, berries, herbs or flower garden cuttings are the catalyst we need to foster healthy community - on several levels! This is why we're calling it a Gardeners' Market, not a farmers' market. It's all about the hyper-local gardeners sharing produce, but more importantly, friendships.
I want to sell my homemade spaghetti sauce. I have "Made in a Home Kitchen" listed on the label. I'd like to sell my homemade hot sticky buns that I will bake that morning, too.
Not this year at this market, but other markets in the area may allow you to sell. Our agreement with the city is that we can sell fresh-picked fruits, vegetables and flowers only. We need to have a longer conversation with the health department about inspections, liabilities, regulations and costs to meet those standards. We're not there yet, so do take your goodies to an area farmers' market to sell!
What about selling food to eat on site?
Same answer as the question above. We'd love to include a café on site! But not yet. We'll need to dot our i's, cross out t's, jump through hoops, cross that bridge and burn more metaphors before we can sell processed food at this market. Let us know if you're willing to help us work our way through that forest! (I consider that last one more burnt kindling for an on-site cooking fire!)
This seems like too little, too late. Why are you doing this now?
Agreed on the 'little' perspective, at least for this year, but we view this effort as early, not late! We've got an eye toward the 2019 season and we know that if we can help people imagine what a Gardener's Market might be like, it will influence how they plant their gardens in the Spring of 2019. It may be that some folk will want to supplement their household income by planting an additional community garden plot or by enlarging their backyard garden knowing that they will have a market for selling.
What are you planning for 2019?
That's where you come in - big time! Volunteers on site will have surveys and we want to collect all sorts of ideas about how to grow this community event into a must-attend feature of our city. Do come and imagine with us! We are of course, going to need volunteers to increase our capacity and funding to increase our services, so let us know how you're ready to roll up your sleeves and pitch in.
I don't have a small table. Will you provide a table and chair for me? Will you help me break a dollar for change?
No, since we're not changing you for the space to sell your produce or asking you for a percentage of your sales, we don't have the funding to provide furniture, weather protection, or banking services. We're neighborhood volunteers. We have provided countless hours of volunteer time to advertise on social media, submit press release articles, communicate with city officials and local gardeners, and find more volunteers. We're bearing the costs of printing flyers and signs, and using our own cars for this work. Knowing that all that "behind the scenes" work is going on, we hope it helps you understand why we're expecting each seller to prepare for their part!
"Very Cool!" - first response within 7 minutes of the email blast notification about the Noble Gardeners' Market 8/14/18
"Fabulous!!!" - next response...
"This is amazing! " - enthusiasm is building! Sellers and buyers - be encouraged! Your participation will make this an incredible "seed planting" event!
"Love the idea." - I think we can look for a great start!
We Are Noble 2018 video
Turn up your sound!
Next Noble Neighbors meeting:
First Tuesday of each month, 7pm, usually. We rotate where we meet between the public meeting places in the neighborhood.
Tuesday, September 4, 2018, 7:00pm
Central Bible Baptist Church
Tuesday, October 2, 2018, 7:00pm
at Noble Road Presbyterian Church
Click here for more information.
Donate to Noble Neighbors
You can now financially support Noble Neighbors and deduct your donation from your taxes thanks to our new partnership with FutureHeights. Make sure you designate Noble Neighbors in the drop-down menu.
Currently we need funds for:
Outreaches to apartment residents
Business cards and stationery
Event materials and supplies
Checks need to be made out to FutureHeights with Noble Neighbors in the memo line. Checks and cash will be received at each Noble Neighbors meeting.
Meet Your Police
Thursday, September 6, 2018, 6 - 8pm
One of the City's responses to the concerns we expressed at the April 29, 2014 Community Meeting is to change the location of the Meet Your Police event to the Police Academy on Noble at Monticello. On the first Thursday of every month, the police will be in our neighborhood to meet with us (and any other Cleveland Heights resident). On the other Thursdays, the police will return to City Hall where they have been meeting us for years. Let's take advantage of this!!
On Feb. 28, 2018, Police Chief Mecklenburg held a meeting for citizens at the Community Center. Responding to resident requests, she described crimes in the city and progress on solving those cases. Statistics going back several years demonstrated trends. Click here to view the power point presentation she showed.
Pocket Garden Project
Our neighborhood gardeners are an active group! This year's project is establishing pocket gardens with sustainability and low maintenance in mind. The pilot project will be planted at homes along Langton Road. Click here to read about their efforts in the Heights Observer. Learn more about IOBY, In Our Back Yard, a multi-city effort to infuse life into neighborhoods by clicking here.
WE ARE NOBLE Promotional Video
We are pleased to announce our new promotional video! Jake Hochendoner, a professional filmmaker who lives in the Noble neighborhood, filmed We Are Noble 2017 to tell the story of the people in this great neighborhood. This is just the beginning of the story we have to tell. Enjoy it, and look for more of Jake's work at http://www.jakobhochendoner.com/
Are we really making a difference? Oh, yes we are! These quotes are from emails, website form submissions and conversations. Not one of them was solicited. Each of these people voluntarily reached out to us to tell us what they feel. Thank you!! You're an encouragement to us all!
We lived on Montevista from '97 to 2013. Big place in my heart for that neighborhood. I am just blown away by the amazing community building you are doing.
~ Former resident who moved to another neighborhood in Cleveland Heights joined our email list, May 2018
The neighborhood looks terrific! I saw people at the library and a church on Noble. There are kids doing chalk drawings. It feels wonderful!
~ Former resident had moved out of town and returned to visit during We Are Noble 2018.
I wanted to formally introduce you to one of Cleveland Heights' strongest neighborhood groups: Noble Neighbors. Noble Neighbors is a collection of residents that advocate for the "Noble Neighborhood" in Cleveland Heights (i.e. north of Mayfield, and east of Taylor). They've exploded over the past few years and have brought significant attention to issues of housing, safety, and economic development in the northeast quadrant of Cleveland Heights.
~ This is how a CH City Council member described us to a political candidate, Jan. 2018
She wanted to introduce us because the Noble Neighbors is such an influential organization in the community.
~ A graduate student referred to a conversation with a city employee, December 2017
I wanted to let you know that friends who are renting on the other side of Cleveland Heights are actively looking to buy a house in the Noble neighborhood. Some of the factors in their decision are the quiet streets, community gardens, AND Noble Neighbors. They had checked out the NN website and were impressed.
~ Noble Neighbor who send us an email, October 2017
Thank you for doing this. This was incredible. I feel so much more hopeful about the area now.
~ Participant in Envision a New Triangle District Workshop, July 2017
I love what you all are doing in Noble. It's so positive!
~ Cleveland Heights City Council Member, June 2017
See more at www.nobleneighbors.com/quote-wall.html