New farmer’s market opening in East Baltimore neighborhood where fresh produce is lacking by Catherine Hawley
In the Greenmount West neighborhood you’ll find folks from every ethnicity, economic and education level.
“Lots of vibrant people and businesses,” said Sache Jones with Two Moons Food Group. “But we’re just kinda lacking in the food department.”
Even for people with cars, getting to a grocery store with fresh produce can be a challenge.
For this community, that’s about to change. Next weekend, the parking lot at Open Works will transform into a brand new farmer’s market.
“You know, it seems really simple, you call some farmers or some businesses, you set up, and you have a farmer’s market,” Jones said. “It’s not that simple.”
The idea has been in the works since January, and for the last two months Jones and Myeasha Taylor have been planning and organizing The Grow Market. Each weekend, up to 15 venders will be out selling their goods.
Baltimore County based Crooked Fence Farm is one of them. They organically grow vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers.
“So we have about 15-acres total,” said Sarah McCarthy. “It’s about 2-acres of vegetable production and then the rest of that is pasture area.”
Lettuces, kale, cabbage and broccoli are pushing up, and everything will be available at the market. It’s field to belly food. Crooked Fence Farm will even have recipe suggestions and cooking demos.
“We want to make sure people have all the tools necessary to use the food that we’re growing, and not waste it, and kind of be confused or overwhelmed by how do I cook this, how do I eat this,” Billy McCarthy (also the office manager at the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation) said.
“We want to be selling food to people that need more ready access to fresh, healthy food,” said Sarah.
Crooked Fence Farm is committed to the grow market for the long haul. They share the same vision as the market’s founders, making it a reflection of the neighborhood.
“I hope that this market can be like a one-stop shop where people can get different resources besides fresh food,” said Taylor.
“This will be a market where we are just sharing resources and skills, from food to information to just laughs and hugs,” Jones said. “So it’s really designed to be a place where everyone here can come and get their needs met.”
To help low income families who qualify for nutrition assistance, most venders at The Grow Market will accept SNAP for items. The market is also a part of Maryland Market Money, which gives additional dollars to people using federal benefits.
The Grow Market officially opens June 4th. It will run every Sunday from 9 to 2pm through November 19th in the Open Works parking lot at 1400 Greenmount Avenue.