Lans­dale Farm­ers Mar­ket cel­e­brates five years

North Penn Life - - FRONT PAGE - By Ali­son Wal­lach 21st Cen­tury Me­dia News Ser­vice

Cus­tomers of Lans­dale’s Farm­ers Mar­ket cel­e­brated WKH PDUNHW’V fiIWK VHDVRn -uOy 6 with a birth­day cake baked by Tab­ora Farms and com­pli­men­tary snow cones pro­vided by Kona Ice.

For Molly Whet­stone, pres­i­dent of the mar­ket’s board, WKH PDUNHW’V fiIWK ELUWKGDy serves as an in­di­ca­tor of the broader changes that Lans­dale’s Farm­ers Mar­ket helped bring to the com­mu­nity.

“We re­ally feel like the mar­ket played a great role in fos­ter­ing that sense of com­mu­niWy. ,W wDV UHDOOy WKH fiUVW WKLnJ that sparked that com­mu­nity ini­tia­tive, get­ting things started. If you see some­thing in this town that you want to change, change it. If you want to bring peo­ple down­town on a Satur­day, then make it hap­pen. I think that idea has re­ally grown; it’s a rip­ple ef­fect,” Whet­stone said, cit­ing events such as the Lans­dale Beer Tast­ing Fes­ti­val and Ok­to­ber­fest that have come to fruition Ln WKH ODVW fiYH yHDUV.

With the pro­ceeds of the Beer Tast­ing Fes­ti­val go­ing to­ward lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing the Lans­dale Pub­lic Li­brary, Manna on Main Street and the farm­ers mar­ket it­self, the fes­ti­val’s host, the Lans­dale Area Fundrais­ing So­ci­ety, aims to en­gage the com­mu­nity in a pos­i­tive way and give back to the area.

“The great thing is that we talk about lo­cal pol­i­tics and what’s go­ing on in the com­mu­nity and re­ally want to make an im­pact, be­cause it’s a great town to live in,” said Mark Parzyn­ski, trea­surer of LAFS and reg­u­lar at­tendee of Lans­dale’s Farm­ers Mar­ket.

Denise Gosart, third-year vol­un­teer, echoed Whet­stone and Parzyn­ski’s sen­ti­ment, adding, “Lans­dale never had DnyWKLnJ OLNH WKLV fiYH yHDUV ago. I’m very proud to work here, and I like the peo­ple I work with.”

Joan and David Fred­er­icks have be­come fre­quenters of the mar­ket for the un­beat­able “price and qual­ity” of the corn, zuc­chini and other fresh veg­eta­bles. Raised in Lans­dale and hav­ing grad­u­ated from North Penn High School in 1962, David Fred­er­ick said that events like the farm­ers mar­ket and the car show have grown to be “good com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties.”

In honor of the mar­ket’s fiIWK VHDVRn, HYHnW RUJDnLz­ers in­vited back some of the orig­i­nal founders. In her open­ing re­marks, Whet­stone rec­og­nized J.R. Briggs as the fiUVW SHUVRn WR SURSRVH WKH LGHD of the mar­ket, Brooke Wasser and Bill Stevens as those who “took the idea and ran with it” and or­ga­ni­za­tions such as Manna on Main Street, the Food Trust and the North Penn Com­mu­nity Health Foun­da­tion for their con­tin­u­ing sup­port.

“We ac­tu­ally work very, very hard to make sure that our cus­tomers are obliv­i­ous to ev­ery­thing that goes on be­hind the scenes. So it was sort of an op­por­tu­nity to step back from that and ac­tu­ally rec­og­nize the peo­ple that they have no idea have been so in­volved over the years,” Whet­stone said of the open­ing re­marks July 6. “But it’s the ven­dors and the cus­tomers that re­ally keep this thing go­ing ... they de­serve as much credit.”

Since its in­au­gu­ral day on July 4, 2009, Lans­dale’s Farm­ers Mar­ket has strived to unify area res­i­dents and sup­port lo­cal farm­ers and busi­nesses. On aver­age, more than 1,000 peo­ple visit the mar­ket each Satur­day dur­ing its midMay to early Novem­ber sea­son.

Of the ap­prox­i­mately 25 ven­dors fea­tured at the mar­ket July 6, eight of them stand as sea­soned vet­er­ans. Jett’s Pro­duce, Windy Springs Farm, Car­di­nal Hol­low Win­ery, Over­brook Herb Farm, Green Street Lux­u­ries, Lund Broth­ers Nurs­ery, Tab­ora Farm & Orchard and Sax­man Breads have all re­turned each year.

It’s pos­i­tive feed­back from cus­tomers and ven­dors that help keep vol­un­teers like Con­nie Lezenby re­turn­ing to the mar­ket each year.

“It’s re­ally fun to watch the small busi­nesses get started and to en­cour­age peo­ple. It’s great com­mu­nity spirit,” said LHzHnEy, fiIWK-yHDU YROunWHHU.

BLOO 0LFNOHy, D fiIWK-JHnHUDWLRn IDUPHU EuW D fiUVW WLPH ven­dor at Lans­dale’s Farm­ers Mar­ket, re­ceives help at his stand from his 11-year-old son, Bray­den.

“He has the chance to learn some of the life lessons by be­ing here, how to treat peo­ple, how to give change the cor­rect way, the old-fash­ioned way,” Mick­ley said of Bray­den.

Since the mar­ket’s open­ing day of the sea­son May 18, the kind­ness and en­thu­si­asm of the mar­ket’s at­ten­dees have im­pressed Mick­ley, who has “not met a mean per­son yet.”

“It’s a long drive but it’s well worth it,” he added. “I’d love to stay here as long as the mar­ket’s here.”

The fu­ture of Lans­dale’s Farm­ers Mar­ket looks bright, with the board’s strate­gic plan­ning com­mit­tee work­ing to­wards ex­pand­ing the mar­ket’s im­pact.

“It’s at a re­ally good place to­day, but I’m just think­ing about other or­ga­ni­za­tions that we can part­ner with to en­hance it, to build com­mu­nity. That’s re­ally what it’s about, bring­ing the com­mu­nity to­gether,” said Tom Alle­bach, for­mer di­rec­tor of Manna on Main Street and new ad­di­tion to the mar­ket’s board.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.lans­dale­farm­ers­mar­ket. org.

Pho­tos by MARK C C. PSO­RAS

Farmer Thad Jett of Jett’s Pro­duce ar­ranges fresh grown veg­eta­bles at his stand at the Lans­dale Farm­ers Mar­ket July 6. Linda and Peter Koss of Just Kid­din Around Farm put out pro­duce at her stand at the Lans­dale Farm­ers Mar­ket as the mar­ket cel­e­brates its five year an­niver­sary July 6.

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