In the fourth edition in our series about the organizations we support at Harvest Market, we are eager to honor the New Garden Growers Market.
Founded in 2005, the New Garden Growers Market is the community’s go-to place for local produce and meat, small-batch food goods, and handmade crafts. Their mission is “to grow community that is rooted in local foods and goods.” The market is open every Saturday from 9am to 1pm from May until November. It is located at 8934 Gap Newport Pike (Route 41) in Landenberg, PA, in front of the New Garden Township Maintenance Garage and next to the entrance into the New Garden Township Park. Plenty of free parking is available on either side of the market.
Both a former and current member of Harvest Market’s own staff, volunteer coordinators Becca Logan and Heather Sachs have worked hard to curate the market into the lively and successful destination you’ll experience today.
Harvest Market: Tell our readers a little bit about the New Garden Growers Market.
New Garden Growers Market: The New Garden Growers Market is a seasonal, outdoor growers market that meets every Saturday from the first weekend in May to the weekend before Thanksgiving. This year we’ll open May 4 and run full time through November 23. We also host a monthly winter market that is open the first Saturday of the month. We have a mix of 25 full and part time vendors selling produce, humanely-raised meats, prepared foods and baked goods, condiments (honey, pickles, jams, etc.), crafts, flowers, and health and beauty products (soap, salves, tonics, etc.).
Harvest Market: How did the two of you get involved?
New Garden Growers Market: This is our third year running the market. Carin Bonafacino – the founder and previous manager – was ready to step down and was looking for someone to take over. Both of us were already customers and familiar with the market.
Harvest Market: With a new market season approaching, are there any new additions or changes you’d like to talk about?
New Garden Growers Market: We’re working to build up our volunteer cadre. We have some new and returning faces who will be taking on a greater role with the market and we hope to continue to grow that support so the market becomes something that truly belongs to the customers and the community, not just the market organizers and the vendors.
Harvest Market: What special events can the community look forward to this year at the market?
New Garden Growers Market: During the first two weeks of the season (May 4 and 11), we partner with Laurel Valley Soils to celebrate International Compost Awareness Week. Customers can purchase Laurel Valley Soil compost and all proceeds are donated to the Philadelphia Horticultural Society. It’s a great opportunity for people to kick start their own gardens with a good dose of local, organic compost.
Our biggest event every year is always the annual Zucchini Races which are held around 4th of July (likely July 6th or 13th this year). We also do a very popular tomato tasting event in August where people can try a wide variety of traditional and heirloom tomatoes, all grown by our farmers. This date is always picked closer to August as it is dependent on weather and how fast the tomatoes are growing. Last year we did a craft festival in November to kick of the holiday season and plan to do this again this year.
Harvest Market: How does supporting your local growers market support farmers and producers?
New Garden Growers Market: When people come to our market, they are buying directly from the source. Our vendors are local growers and producers. The money our customers spend stays right here in our community.
Harvest Market: What are some of the defining characteristics of the products at the growers market that set them apart from items you’d find at a conventional grocery store?
New Garden Growers Market: The thing we hear over and over is that our produce just tastes better and we agree! Most of the things sold at market were picked or baked the day before or the day of. It doesn’t get any fresher. Because our vendors are growing/making the products they sell, our customers are also able to ask them directly about their methods and processes. Government sanctioned labels don’t necessarily tell the whole story about a product. Our customers don’t have to rely on that 3rd party verification. They can go straight to the source.
Harvest Market: What aspect of market coordination is the most inspiring to you? And the most challenging?
New Garden Growers Market: The most inspiring part is hearing the customers’ stories of what the market means to them and tracking the growth of the market. In order to collect data and numbers, last year we began tracking sales, weather, number of customers, etc., and we’re excited to see how things change from year to year.
The most challenging aspect is getting volunteers. Running a market is a lot of work. For both of us, this is a volunteer position. Finding others who are willing to dedicate the time and effort to help things run smoothly is challenging, but we’ve been blessed the past year with some great folks and we are hoping to bring in some more volunteers this year.
Harvest Market: If you could grant one wish to our community, what would it be?
New Garden Growers Market: The one wish we would grant would be to get a full-time breakfast vendor at the market so people could come eat, have a cup of coffee and mingle! (We’re working on it.)
Harvest Market: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our customers and staff at Harvest Market?
New Garden Growers Market: We are honored to be starting our 15th season this year. Our customers come back week after week, year after year. How amazing to be a community staple! Thank you for your support of the market! We wouldn’t exist without you all.