Lansdale Farmers Market celebrates five years
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.
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.