Healthy Food for All: Pigtown Community Farmers’ Market

June 23rd, 2016

Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, cabbage, chicken, and turkey are among the foods Gracie and her grandson Raleigh looked most forward to finding at the Pigtown Community Farmers’ Market last summer. They spent hours at the Market two or three times a month shopping for fresh foods, shooting hoops, attending cooking demonstrations, and listening to music.

Gracie learned to cook by her mother’s side in their West Virginia kitchen with the freshest food she has ever tasted – just-picked vegetables from her family’s garden and freshly butchered pork and beef. Her early love of food led her to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore for cooking jobs, then to culinary school. Her career took her in a different direction – she served as an instrument technician and private nurse – but, now retired, Gracie has gotten back to her first love: cooking. She caters soul food out of the kitchen of her rowhome on Barre Street.

A resident of the neighborhood since 1991, Gracie has long lamented the lack of options for purchasing high quality and affordable fresh produce in the neighborhood. When she bought her house, she could walk across the street to the local grocery store, now a Dollar General. Now, the closest grocery store is nearly a mile away and up a hill – and the selection of produce is limited. She makes the trek to the Baltimore Farmers’ Market under the JFX as often as she can, and she eagerly awaited June 2, when the second season of the Pigtown Community Farmers’ Market kicked off.

Gracie is among thousands of residents in Southwest Baltimore lacking access to healthy foods. Pigtown is a food swamp, an area where unhealthy foods are more readily available than healthy foods. On a scale with a maximum of 28.5, the healthy food availability index score for our neighborhood is 9.8, which means residents have few options to find and purchase fresh produce and other healthy and whole foods. Last spring, Paul’s Place and Pigtown Food for Thought – a resident-driven, grassroots food justice organization – partnered to launch the seasonal Pigtown Community Farmers’ Market.

Join us in Carroll Park every Thursday now through October 6 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for the Pigtown Community Farmers’ Market. Buy your fresh produce, meat, eggs, coffee, and prepared food for the week and participate in cooking demonstrations, yoga, Zumba, face painting, concerts, and more.

Vendors

Atwater’s (prepared food)
Bear Foot Farm (produce)
Boone Street Farm (produce)
Farm to Charm (prepared food)
HarborQue BBQ (prepared food)
Real Food Farm (produce)
Shlagel Farm (meat and eggs)
Thread Coffee

Learn more: watch Charlotte Keniston’s interview on WBFF-TV, and see the schedule of activities at the Market.