By LAURI GROSS
The sign says “Tent of Wisdom.” But the fine print adds, “Free advice: Ask us anything you want but, remember, you get what you pay for.” And that’s when you know the flea market at Heritage Farms in Peninsula isn’t exactly typical.
George Haramis, who owns Heritage Farms with his wife Carol, laughs that the Tent of Wisdom is “where grouchy old curmudgeons sit.” Then he explains that he is sometimes one of the grouchy old curmudgeons and the others are usually local business leaders, but the idea is simply to invite passers-by to ask questions or strike up a conversation about anything.
“You get everything from silly questions to intense discussions,” he recalls. Someone asked me what she should study for her master’s degree. Someone else asked me how to get her kids to clean up their room. We have a good time. The vendors are thrilled because it keeps everyone laughing all morning long and they spend more money that way,” George adds, referring to what makes the Peninsula Flea – as it’s known – a little more typical: There are indeed plenty of vendors.
This year, the Peninsula Flea will take place June 4, June 25, July 2, August 6, and September 3. The upscale market includes plenty of food trucks plus rotating vendors that might include purveyors of furniture, antiques, jewelry, baked good, local honey, photography and so much more. George adds, “We are in the middle of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
“People really have a good time here,” George says of the market that is situated on the grounds surrounding the farm’s century home. “And they can’t stop talking about where they are and what they are seeing when they are here. The response is always, ‘Oh my God. It’s so beautiful’ That is part of the draw.”
People are also drawn to Heritage Farms for its camping options. Here, camping season began in April and runs through October. There are primitive sites and shelter sites with A-frame or Adirondack-style shelters, all with beautiful sunset views. Or, rent the one-bedroom suite that adjoins the farm house.
Founded in 1848, the Farm remains family owned and operated, as it has for five generations. While the farmers of 1848 might not have invited fairies to the property, they surely would approve of the fact that George and Carol do. Mark your calendar for Fairy Days June 11 and 12 at Heritage Farms. For these two magical days, activities are non-stop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as the rolling hills surrounding Heritage Farms are transformed into an outdoor country fairyland. Come in costume (or find a new one at the Magical Meadow Market), marvel at the fairy houses and fairy parade, create your own fairy garden, spot fairies hiding along the wooded trail, join the rainbow fairy circle, wander through the unicorn labyrinth, find shy fairies playing hide and seek, choose a dragon guardian and more.
The excitement of the Peninsula Flea, Heritage Farms camping and Fairy Days notwithstanding, George says, “The biggest things we do are Christmas trees and Pumpkin Pandemonium,” referring to the reasons people visit Heritage Farms in fall and winter. Plus, the property is popular for weddings, business meeting, reunions, groups outings, workshops and more. Face it, you definitely need to visit Heritage Farms. For details, including ticketing and schedules of all events, visit HeritageFarms.com.
Explore beautiful and historic Heritage Farms in Peninsula
By LAURI GROSS