Newark Farmers’ Market attracts local buyers, food
Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 05:05
Paul Hauser sold his crop of spring produce grown in his four greenhouses at the Co-op Farmers’ Market on Main Street last Sunday.
Hauser, 61, of Lincoln University, Pa., brought vegetables including asparagus, lettuce, spinach, and a selection of herb, vegetable and flower plants to the market on May 13. He has been selling his produce at farmers’ markets for 18 years, and has been coming to the Co-op Farmers’ Market, which is located in the parking lot in front of Newark Natural Foods, since it first opened 11 years ago.
“I’ve seen it from its original inception of their ideas until where it is now,” Hauser said. “[It’s] a bona fide, legitimate farmers’ market.”
The market, which is sponsored by local farmers and the Newark Natural Foods Cooperative, reopened on May 6 and will continue through the first week of November.
Karen Taylor, 37, general manager of Newark Natural Foods, said the farmers’ market expanded this year with six new spaces for community outreach businesses and nonprofits, including the Newark Bike Project and the Delaware Food Bank.
Local farmers, entertainers, craftspeople and community members stopped by the market to sell and purchase handmade jewelry, pizza, organic lemonade and other products.
Taylor said there have been many visitors to the market in the first two weeks.
“We’re already seeing a larger foot traffic in the past two weeks than we would normally see in the first two weeks,” she said.
So far, this year’s weather has not affected any of the market’s crops, Taylor said. However, she said recent frost that hit delayed the production of some of the store’s produce.
Hauser, who grows produce on his own farm, said he harvests within a day or two before selling. He said it is important to buy locally because food from other countries, such as Mexico and those in South America, may contain certain sprays that are not considered safe in the United States. Additionally, he said it supports the local economy.
“Farming and preservation is an important consideration,” he said. “Keeping farms open, keeping green spaces. The easiest way to do it is buying locally and making farms economically viable.”
University alumna and Newark resident Autumn Labinowski, 36, said she tries to go to farmers’ markets whenever she can. She said she has been shopping at Newark Natural Foods since she was a student at the university in the mid-nineties.
“I like to support the local economy,” Labinowski said. “I like my food fresh—I grow my own vegetables in my backyard, so I like to support all of that.”
Deborah Anderson, 40, of Big Sky Bread Company, said she has been going to the market for three years and said she enjoys the community feeling. She sold an array of breads and cookies at her table.
“I like the food, the entertainment,” Anderson said.
Taylor said her favorite aspect of farmers’ markets is that they create a place for community members to meet.
“It’s an opportunity to see your neighbors and spend time and hang out,” she said. “People used to gather at the coffee shop and what not. This is an opportunity for folks to gather and be together in the community on a bigger picture.”