By Sean Barron
Danielle Seidita is thrilled to see a once-blighted piece of city property become the site for a new farmers market that sells healthful, organically grown foods.
The market also promises to foster a different kind of growth.
“The market is important in the neighborhood and will provide a place for the community to come,” said Seidita, market manager of the Idora Neighborhood Farmers Market, 2600 Glenwood Ave., on the city’s South Side. “This will help alleviate not having access to locally grown foods.”
The farmers market debuted Tuesday and is open from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday through Sept. 30. Hosting the gathering was the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., a neighborhood development organization launched in 2009.
Dozens of people came to the market’s first day to speak to and buy from vendors offering everything from assorted greens to specialty coffees to zucchini, cucumber and sweet-basil plants.
Some bought broccoli and other types of organic seeds from Kathryn Hatch, who, along with her husband, Charles, runs The Zaney Pearl of Leetonia.
“We bought a farm in 2009 and have been slowly growing since then,” Kathryn explained, adding that she encourages healthful cooking practices and wants people to better understand the origins of their foods.
A sampling of Hatch’s products included bags of organic salad mix for $3 each as well as fruits for $1 and $2 apiece.
Plenty of basil, romaine lettuce, beets, tomatoes and peppers were available, courtesy of Iron Roots Urban Farm, a Canfield Road training facility for those who wish to start urban farms and sell their merchandise.
“It’s nice to see how things have grown for the city,” said Rick Price, a YNDC member and apprentice farmer.
The farmers market also will attract more vendors, bring in new customers and be a positive force in the area, Price continued.
For those with a bit of a sweet tooth, Terri Vicars had on hand white-chocolate-cherry, honey-roasted, Ohio-maple and other types of peanut butter.
Vicars, who runs Boardman-based Our Village Kitchen, noted that his foods are made and stored at the Commonwealth Kitchen Incubator on the city’s North Side. Proceeds are being used to help a Case Western Reserve University student from Ethiopia with her tuition, he noted.
Other businesses included Dandelion Lane Farm of Columbiana, which offered free-range chicken as well as organic coffees and teas, Carol’s Homemade Baked Goods, and Marcie’s Homemade Jams, which Marcie Roepke, a Boardman artist, was selling for $5 a jar.