Tuesday, March 22, 2022

New farmers market coming to Grant Street

             A new farmers market is coming to the West Side this summer.

            The Providence Farm Collective is a farmer-led organization with deep ties to the Somali Bantu community. Kristin Heltan-Weiss, president of the board and executive director, says that the 275 farmers have been working hard to open a market on the lower end of Grant Street.

            With a $477,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the team has three years to reach its vision. Heltan-Weiss said that the money is going towards building the market, including tents, tables, and transportation for vendors.

            “They were expressing an interest at a workshop last year for an opportunity to have a place or market for themselves to sell directly to community members within their communities,” Heltan-Weiss said.

            The organization is working out legal details to confirm a space and is considering two locations which will soon be confirmed. The market are on track for a soft opening on June 25 and the hard launch will be on July 2, running every Saturday from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. until mid-October.

            “Our farmers will have an opportunity to have a less crowded day to practice and we can be there to offer assistance and advice as the day goes on,” Heltan-Weiss said.

            Heltan-Weiss hopes that the event will become more than a market by including local business owners, other vendors, urban farmers, cultural events, and community organizations.

            “We are going to do it. And guess what? We’re doing it our way and we’re doing it ourselves. I think that is so incredibly empowering,” Heltan-Weiss said. By Nia Peeples and Zach Williams