Hey Linden, we hear you! And let's keep talking!
Have you visited the NEW Linden Farmers Market? If so, THANK YOU! If not, what are you waiting for? Join us this Sunday (and every Sunday) from 1-4 PM in the parking lot of Gye Nyame Place.
Consistent with the vision and goals of the Local Food Action Plan for the City of Columbus and Franklin County, and with concern for the growing issue of food access in Linden, the City of Columbus, Community of Caring Development Foundation, and the Ohio Farmers' Market Network have come together to create the NEW Linden Farmers Market.
Our vision for the Linden Farmers Market is a market which provides opportunity for investment, growth, and sustainability to minority farmers, gardeners and food producers, while highlighting the partnerships between local community organizations.
Each week, we ask a series of 3 questions during market: zip code, form of transportation, knowledge of market, your wants and needs, plans for purchasing, and more. Our mission is to get feedback and make changes accordingly.
Based on feedback we’ve already received, let's jump right in and address some concerns.
Amount of produce options. The Linden Farmers Market, now entering its fifth week, is just getting started. Upon inception, it was our mission to first recognize urban farmers and food producers hailing from the Linden neighborhood. While we are excited by the producers we have and their opportunity for growth, we recognize the need for more producers, and more fruit and vegetable options.
Please know that we are aware of this, have similar concerns and are actively working to add more options to the market. In the coming weeks we will introduce more producers and more variety, including eggs, fruit and a wider selection of vegetables.
Price of food. Simply put, food is not cheap to grow. Our farmers and food producers are charging what is necessary to cover the cost of land, insurance, seeds and maintenance, just to name a few. What's not generally included in their prices is the cost of labor. Most farmers and food producers serving this market (and many markets around Columbus) maintain off farm employment as a way to pay their bills. It's a sad but true fact about our food system.
We recognize that these issues may not represent your needs or the needs of others. That said, our vision for the Linden Farmers' Market is a market which provides opportunity for investment, growth, and sustainability to minority farmers, gardeners and food producers. This, unfortunately, is in conflict with large scale, conventional agriculture that we've all grown accustomed to.
Consider the following:
For every dollar of sales, direct marketers are generating twice as much economic activity within the region, as compared to producers who are not involved in direct marketing.
Every dollar spent at farmers markets leads to an additional $0.58 - $1.36 in sales at other nearby businesses.
We have distributed $2,000 in WIC coupons to Linden residents in the first three weeks.
In addition to offering SNAP benefits, we are a member of Produce Perks, allowing us to match up to $20 towards the purchase of fruits and vegetables not only for health benefits, but also recognizing the cost barriers that sometimes exist.
Funds contributed and city support of the market. All small businesses require start up money. This market is no different. Here are a few notes about how our money has been and will be spent.
1. It is true that our producers have been asked to pay a small amount to participate in the market. That said, those funds are being reserved to give the 2019 season a boost. It is our hope that investments this year will propel the Linden Farmers Market ahead of where most second year markets expect to be.
2. We believe that market managers should be paid for their work. As part of the Local Food Action Plan, the economics of local food must also include those who organize, support and manage farmers markets. While the market may only be open for three hours per week, a market manager gives much more time coordinating, organizing and collaborating with the community and neighborhood.
3. Most importantly, and recognizing the needs of our adjacent community, almost 20% of our budget is being distributed to those in need through pantries, social service agencies and other community partners in the form of $5 coupons.
We know that needs are greater than a $5 coupon, but it is our hope that through a series of small steps, including the step of establishing a weekly farmers market, we will begin the process of making food more readily accessible, affordable, and grown by the people in your community.
So, we ask for your support and patience as we work to create and consistently provide an opportunity to access food that is locally grown and produced. We welcome your feedback and even more so, the efforts of community members like you who obviously care very much about their neighborhood.
Linden Farmers Market and Ohio Farmers' Market Network
PS: GET FIT at the Linden Farmers Market! In partnership with the Women's Ministry, the Linden Farmers Market will offer a Zumba class from 2:30-3:30 PM inside Gye Nyame Place.
Our producers for market on Sunday, July 29 include:
Aunt Vickie's Pies
Columba’s Mexican Food
Craft Beer Biscuits
Dan the Baker
Foraged & Sown
Good Food Bakery
Great River Organics
Happy Toes Homestead
Heart of a Ryan Farm
Seminary Hill Farm
The Crazy Cucumber
Too Good Eats
Yia Yia's B.O. (Butters & Oils)
Our Food Trucks: Ena's Caribbean Kitchen
Our Community Artists: Attitude by Aishata
Our Community Table: The Compost Exchange
Join us every Sunday through August from 1-4 PM, rain or shine!
For more information, or questions related to any of our services, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.