Next month, it’s coming back.
The South & Passyunk Farmers Market is set to return during the warm weather months under new leadership and will offer fresh fruit and vegetables as well as a social beacon for the neighborhood.
“We’ve been planning it for many months now and we’ve been working with the South Street Headhouse District and the Queen Village Neighborhood Association every step of the way and we’ve received a lot of encouragement to keep going,” said Jon Glyn of Evergreen Events, which is taking on the project.
Glyn, who now lives near 5th and South streets, said the former South & Passyunk Farmers Market was a thriving market before it closed down in 2012. A small portion of Passyunk Avenue was temporarily shut down as farmers from Lancaster and Adams counties would travel to South Street to sell their goods straight to consumers.
It’s a similar idea to the one Glyn and business partner Ben Bergman are planning to roll out on Thursdays from 3-7 p.m. from June through October at South Street and Passyunk Avenue. Not only will there be farmers selling fresh produce, but the area will take on a vibrant community feel with artists, musicians and other festivities.
“It will be a very friendly, very vibrant event for the neighbors to come out and shop for fresh fruits and vegetables during the week,” Glyn said. “And it’s another chance to come out and support local businesses, meet their neighbors in a very safe and friendly environment.”
Farmers are able to increase their margins by cutting out the middleman. Consumers are able to get their food directly. It’s a win-win.
“The secret to every recipe is the freshness of the food,” Glyn said. “The benefit to the shopper is that they get access to some of the freshest produce, harvested at peak ripeness. And if they care about their carbon footprint, they are helping lower it. And also they get to support local businesses.”
Bergman says it’s also a great opportunity to meet the actual farmers who put food on so many tables in the Philadelphia area.
“One of the things we love about farmers markets is it gives the public a chance to actually meet the farmer that grew what they are eating,” Bergman said. “And that’s always a benefit. People always really dig that.”
Gyn and Bergman launched a successful farmers market in Jenkintown last year, which will return on Tuesday nights. Another market at Schuylkill River Park is set to begin on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Some farmers and vendors participate in several local farmers markets. Some even go back to the days of the former South & Passyunk market like Rineer Family Farms in Lancaster County and Beechwood Orchards in Adams County.
“One of the things that makes local food local is the soil,” Bergman said. “An ear of corn grown in Pennsylvania is different from one that is grown in Texas because it’s different soil. I really dig on that. I really like knowing that when I’m serving food to my family, I can point to each thing on a table and say where it came from. It’s the story behind your apple as opposed to buying it on a shelf at Whole Foods.”
It’s one thing to connect people to food. It’s another to connect people to a neighborhood. That’s what Glyn and Bergman believe will happen when the market opens on June 1.
“It’s called experiential retail,” Glyn said. “It’s a buzzword that you sometimes hear, but people really want a meaningful experience when they shop now, because it’s too easy to shop online and have it delivered. We want a place where not only can you shop for fresh foods but also hear a local musician. A farmer’s market naturally attracts the doers and creators of the neighborhood.”