Community Welcomes Debut of Idora Farmer's Market - Business Journal

The next step in the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp.'s plan to revitalize the historic Idora Park area got underway Tuesday with the debut of the Idora Neighborhood Farmer's Market.

Eleven vendors, offering diverse products such as vegetables, peanut butter and tea -- all locally produced -- set up shop on an empty lot at the corner of Glenwood and Sherwood Avenues.

Among the vendors was the Iron Roots Urban Farm, a farm created by YNDC to address the “food desert” that exists in the area. Now, by offering multiple outlets to get local food, people on the city's south side have an opportunity to help in the revitalization, organizers say.

“It keeps the money within the city instead of buying from a grocery store that's based out of somewhere not in the area, and the food comes from California or wherever. It's money from local people that goes right to the farmer,” said Rick Price of Iron Roots Urban Farm.

The market, which will be held every Tuesday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., also helps YNDC in its mission to help improve the city.

“The more positive activities there are for the community, the more chances Youngstown has to bounce back and continue to grow,” said Danielle Seidita, the market manager. “The farmer's market is a great place for everyone young and old to come. Youngstown definitely needs these gathering places to build a great city again.”

To help city residents get more healthful foods, all vendors accept food stamps, which is a “good step in promoting food equality,” Seidita said.

Dozens of people showed up for the first day of the market. With the surge in popularity of farmer's markets in the area, including Northside Farmer's Market and the B&O Night Market, event organizers are hoping for sustained success, Price said.

A positive response from the community was evident almost immediately, as people started showing up 30 minutes before the market opened. Marcie Applegate, who operates Marcie's Homemade Jams, commented that the market is a new avenue to build camaraderie for the neighborhood.

“It's really satisfying. It's nice to talk to people about the things I grow and the things I make. It's a good place for the community to come together,” Applegate said. “It brings people together, people who wouldn't normally come out to these things.”

While the first harvest hasn't come in yet for most of the vendors, there was a still a variety of products that attracted customers and convinced some to return in the coming weeks.

“The variety is great. We'll get our eggs here now that we know it'll be here every [Tuesday],” Mike Humes said.

Humes, who grew up in the area, added that amenities like the Idora Neighborhood Farmer's Market are signs that the area is rebounding.

“It's great. I grew up not far from here and it was terrible to see the area go downhill and now I'm seeing it come back,” Humes said. “It puts a whole new reflection on the whole area. It really does.”

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