Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Farmers Markets This Season

There will be new markets this season at City Hall and near Jefferson Hospital, sponsored by Farm to City.

FTC's Bob Pierson says he's lined up three "definite" vendors as of earlier this week for City Hall: Fruitwood Orchards (a South Jersey berry, tree fruit, garden vegetable producer), Pumpkin Ridge (cut flowers), and Better Together Bakery (from Havertown). Possible additions include an aquaculturist who grows clams and sea lettuce, a seller of canned/jarred goods (with some fresh veggies), and two youth organizations who are involved in urban gardening. Pierson said that the City Hall market likely wouldn't be much bigger, since space in the venue, the northeast quadrant of the courtyard, is limited.

Full details of the Farm to City markets, including schedules, can be found at FTC's Farmers Market page, but here are some dates worth noting:
  • South & Passyunk Market opens May 6, with vendors to include the Livengoods and the Rineers, among others.

  • The City Hall market opens Wednesday, May 14. No time established yet.

  • Jefferson, Chestnut near 10th, will be held Thursdays from 12 noon to 5:30 p.m., beginning May 22. No vendor lineup yet.
The other major sponsor of area farmers markets, The Food Trust, hasn't posted its schedule yet, except for the hugely successful Headhouse Square venue, which begins its Sunday run May 4. (A reader of this blog, "Sam", contributed a copy of The Food Trust schedule received by email. You can find the schedule, as reported by Sam, here.)

Anyone besides me ever wonder why we've got two separate organizations sponsoring farmers' markets? I don't have all the answers (I wouldn't be surprised if policy/politics and ego had something to do with it), but Farm To City and The Food Trust are coming at it from different angles, though from the consumer's practical point of view it hardly matter. Farm To City is more interested in promoting the economic well-being of small, family farmers and to help preserve vanishing countryside. The Food Trust's goal is to insure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food. Now you know.

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