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"Urban residents increasingly confront issues associated with access to fresh and nutritious foods, connections to local agriculture, neighborhood-based social activity, localized efforts of economic development, and health status. At the same time, essential to the sustainability of small, ecologically sound farms, and the rural communities they are part of, is a viable market wherein agricultural products can receive a fair price and farmers are able to make living wages. These needs provide the context for a common solution: an effective, organized strategy to connect local, ecologically sound farms to a viable urban marketplace in a way that enhances food availability and security, public events, community arts, social capital, and neighborhood based economic development.
In 2007, a group of community residents, local farmers, and professionals in the field of agriculture and food came together to create The South Wedge Farmers’ Market (SWFM), situated in an urban neighborhood in Rochester. Through this partnership and leadership, SWFM has established itself as an extremely successful market for both farmers and community residents, and has modeled one approach to the above-mentioned strategy. This small, principled farmers’ market far exceeded the expectations of the participating farmers, its customers, and the organizing group. It produced more than $90,000 in sales for participating farms and food producers, a wonderful shopping and social experience for an average of 700 neighborhood residents on Thursday evenings throughout the season, a venue for local businesses to connect with the community, a place for local musicians and artists to perform and display, and a genuine connection between Rochester and its surrounding rural and agricultural communities.
The SWFM is looking forward to another wonderful and exciting season in 2008. The market will operate May 1st through November, Thursday evenings 4 to 8 at the corner of S. Clinton and Alexander. See you at the market!"
Please stop by and support local goods!