As many Ohio readers know, there are farm markets and farm markets.  The former are usually roadside affairs selling tomatoes, sweet corn, squash, and other good things from their garden.  The latter, few indeed, are something special, offering unusual items as well as ordinary produce, items interesting enough to be worth a modest or even a fairly long drive.  Mitchell’s Orchard and Farm Market is one of these. (The website Ohio Proud offers an interesting list of local fresh food and farmers markets – they even have a find-a-market search page.)

The Market lies a couple of miles east of Ashland, Ohio just off SR 96.  To reach it you’ll drive almost to the first railroad crossing, then turn onto TWP Road 1153.  There’s a small sign along 96 and the Market lies just a couple of hundred yards down 1153.  What does this secluded market have to offer? 

Since there’s a 60 acre orchard, you’d expect to find apples, pears, plums, sweet and sour cherries in season, and grapes.  They’re there.  Visitors might also expect to see tomatoes, squash, onions, potatoes, sweet corn, and other standard vegetables.  They’re waiting, too, along with a fair spread of meats and cheeses.  But there are more exotic offerings, like old time candies and root beer, flannel cake mix and black buggy vegetable soup, jellies, fresh honey, and more.

Still, the sale items that draw most customers aren’t foods and produce, they’re wine and beers, the brainchild of owner Mitch Goschinski.  As his daughter Valerie Snyder relates the story, Mitch had a thriving business next door and when he was nearing his personal retirement age, started planting fruit trees.  By the time retirement arrived he had a thriving orchard and a modest little business selling produce.

“He wanted more than that, though.” Valerie explained.  “Business was pretty slow in the winter, and he wanted something that would draw in customers year around.  Dad decided that wines and beers would do just that.”  And they do.  Walk up and down the aisles of this two room shop, and you’ll find literally hundreds of wines.  There are at least 30 different Ohio wines, lots more from out-of-state (California, New York State, etc.), and even more from other parts of the world.

Are you looking for a California Reserve of Martin?  It’s here.  An Ohio Woodbridge, various kinds of Reislings, Chauvignons, or more simple blueberry and cherry wines?  All here.  And the beers?  At least 50 kinds.  Tucher and Mud Springs Bock, Varnsteiner and Yinput, they’re all waiting.  You can buy these wines and beers, or you can make your own. 

The Market offers an amazing variety of beer and wine making supplies, from beer and wine kits that become five gallons of fine drinking, to various yeasts,  malt extract, and basic equipment from corks to caps.  One of their best sellers, though isn’t beer and wine at all, but cherry juice.  As Valerie said, “I really believe in drinking cherry juice for arthritis, gout, and digestive problems.  It’s a natural tonic and wonderful stuff.”  Here’s your chance to try some. 

Readers might wonder if Mitchell’s Orchard & Farm Market will be around in years to come.  There’s little doubt of that.  Valerie and her husband plan to take over the market when her parents retire, and hopefully make it even bigger and better.  That should make beer and wine connoisseurs happy.

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