Grassroots Farmers Market in Downtown Lakewood is ‘Growing’ Strong

The Saturday Lakewood Farmers Market, (LFM) provides a ‘hyper-local food’ business incubator and an opportunity for Lakewood residents to buy food grown or made close to home. The ‘We’re Local, We’re Lakewood’ seed was planted in the minds of founding volunteers in 2009 and sprouted last June with the Lakewood Farmers Market.
Encouraging entrepreneurship and fostering the growth of healthy produce, healthy people, and healthy connections, the LFM is a venue, not only for established vendors to peddle their produce and products, but also an opportunity for small-scale backyard growers and cottage industries to come and sell for the first time. The grassroots neighborhood market kicks off its second season on June 25th and continues every Saturday through October 1st. Centrally located in City Center Park (in front of Marc’s Plaza), the Lakewood Farmers Market (LFM) is easily accessible by foot, bike, bus and car.
“Local food” has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent years, but there are a number of reasons behind the buzz. Offering healthy produce, healthy people, and healthy connections; locally grown food and farmers’ markets not only benefit farmers they contribute to the wellness of the environment, the consumer, the regional economy and the community.
Eating local food is healthier for our environment because it requires less fossil fuel to transport and little, if any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Locally grown food is healthier than food imported or transported over long distances – it is both fresher and less susceptible to contamination because of its short journey from farm to plate. Food grown and sold locally is also healthier for the regional economy because it lends support to local farmers and cottage industries as well as increases pedestrian traffic to traditional mom and pop storefronts.
Local food de-emphasizes big box stores, chain restaurants and fast food and re- introduces aspects of community long forgotten. It is healthier for our relationships, reintroducing neighbors, gathering community members and making face-to-face interactions with our farmers. Everyone eats thus food can serve to bridge the gap between people of different ages, races, religions, and income levels. While food is essential to our survival, local food also reconnects us to a larger essential, community.
Collaborative efforts to increase access to and availability of fresh, local food and produce have resulted in educational programs, subsidized produce vendor incubator space, joint marketing campaigns as well as the $5 EBT incentive program offered at the Saturday Lakewood Farmers Market and six other Cleveland area farmers’ markets. More information about these programs can be found at http://www.growhio.org.

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About todd v

Filmmaker, artist and goofball.
This entry was posted in cleveland, ohio and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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