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Seven Lessons in Creating an Urban Farmers Market

May 22, 2016 | Community News, Community News and Media, Trenton

FarmersMarket_CostumesLast year, Greenwood Ave.’s first urban market gave nearly 4,000 Trenton residents access to locally grown fruits and vegetables to ignite healthier living. Not a typical farmers market, the goal of the market was to help make the healthy choice the easy choice by offering on-site free health screenings, live cooking demonstrations, lessons in nutrition and weekly physical fitness activities.

Greenwood Ave.’s second market season opens every Monday beginning June 13, 2016 through October 24, from 2 – 6 PM. Each week, the market will feature Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables. Matching dollars will be provided for residents using SNAP, WIC and FMNP vouchers. Health screenings, nutrition education, cooking demonstrations and live music will also be included in the weekly activities. For the first time, the farmers market will also provide free dinner for children ages 18 and under as a part of the USDA Summer Food Service meal site every Monday beginning June 27, 2016.

If you are planning to launch an urban farmers market, below are a number of best practices from the Greenwood Ave. Farmers Market team for making your market successful:

  1. Have a strong marketing strategy – promotions are a vital part of getting the word out – making sure to post posters, billboards, and flyers around the city helps raise awareness about the market, when it will be available and what it will offer.
  2. Get feedback from customers – hearing what the residents have to say about their experiences is a great way to learn what’s working and what changes need to be made.
  3. Have an active presence on social mediums – social media is a major force all over the world – especially with youth. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great places to post photos of the market’s events and allow customers to interact. Utilizing these platforms gives you a strong online identity and can even expand the reach of your marketing campaigns.
  4. Get the community involved – people from all walks of life make up urban communities and it’s important to get everyone excited about their health.
  5. Accept SNAP, WIC, and vouchers – matching dollars are a great way to increase attendance and allows residents to extend their buying power.
  6. Teach people how to prepare healthier meals – host live cooking demonstrations that showcase how delicious healthier choices really are. Taste tests after the demo are a huge selling point, too!
  7. Provide entertainment, activities and games for all ages – with 4,000 people visiting over the course of Greenwood Ave.’s market season, there has to be a welcoming environment! Zumba, live music and monthly festivals are entertaining for all ages.

For more information on its summer activities, visit the Greenwood Ave. Farmers Market website.

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