Insights into Farmers Markets
I think that spring has finally arrived. The birds are singing and the trees are bursting at the seams with leaves and flowers. Farmers and gardeners are in the soil sowing seeds and transplants for the upcoming growing season. Many people are out and about gracing the sidewalks of their local farmers market or waiting for their favorite ones to start.
I run the La Familia Verde Market, located in the 17th Congressional District of the Bronx. The market was started because there was a need for produce that was local, fresh, accessible, and affordable. Our market is unique in that it is a collaboration between both urban and rural farmers.
Every Tuesday, from July to November, in Tremond Park we bring the ethnic fruits and vegetables that our consumers long for. From calloloo to papalo, collards to cilantro, we have a signature saying “We Grow ‘Em, You Eat ‘Em.”
At our farmers market, we take SNAP, Health Bucks, Wic Coupons, and both Senior and WIC FMNP (farmers market nutrition program) coupons and, of course, cash. It’s win/win situation for the customer and the farmer. We look at our customers as part of the market, and the market part of our community.
Along with selling produce from our urban and rural farmers, we offer nutritional education through our partnership with Just Food and Stellar Markets. What is the purpose of having good quality food if you don’t know how to cook it? So having cooking demonstrations are extremely important.
When we look at our food system, everyone should have the right to healthy food. We make sure that people who have been labeled impoverished are treated with dignity and respect.
Farmers markets are fun places to try new things, meet new people and explore one’s curiosity. Many farmers markets, such as 14th Union Square, operate year-round. The time is now to shed the cold weather blues and let your palate be your guide.