new farmers market to help quench urban food desert

Since Veronica Walton created an urban farm on Ansel Road several years ago, she's been asked countless times about her lush, bountiful plots: "I'm looking for a job," some would say. "Can I work here?"

When asked such questions, Walton, who is the Director of the nonprofit NEO Restoration Alliance, would extol the virtues of urban farming. She explained the difference between community gardens and urban farmers, who sell their crops to customers via local farmers markets. Yet until recently, she's been unable to point to a truly local example where small-scale farmers could sell their harvest.

That's about to change. This summer, Gateway105 Farmers Market will launch at the intersection of East 105th and Ashbury streets. The market will provide the Glenville, Hough and University Circle neighborhoods with fresh, locally grown food. It will also feature work by local artists, complementary family activities, musical performances and free health screenings from local institutions.

Organizers of the market, which kicks off on Friday, July 1st and runs every Friday through October, hope to reach local residents and University Circle employees who shop for groceries before heading home from work.

The farmers market was organized by NEO Restoration Alliance and the Famicos Foundation, a nonprofit community development organization that serves the Glenville and Hough neighborhoods and develops affordable and market-rate housing.

"This is about building a community of individuals that learn to develop entrepreneurial skills, while providing a service to the community at the same time," says Walton.

Source: Veronica Walton
Writer: Lee Chilcote

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