It takes a lot of work to get a new farmers' market to open and after two years, endless meetings, countless phone calls, and lots of planning, the Syracuse Eastside Neighborhood Farmers' Market opens today at 3:00 pm. This is an important milestone in the Syracuse food scene and this little market has a lot to prove.
This market has to prove that neighborhoods will do more than clamor for a farmers' market, they'll actually support it.
This market has to prove that farmers' markets are actually viable options for bringing fresh food to areas and people that can't easily access them.
This market has to prove that the gift that we gave to NYC in the idea of the Union Square Greenmarket can actually be returned to us as we seek to turn one of our own formerly drug-infested parks into a destination for weekly shopping and community gathering--and community revitalization. The Eastside Neighborhood market will also have live performances and cultural events to make it fun for all ages.
Of course all that this little market has to prove rests only partly on the market--the bulk of it is up to us. It will be up to us to shop it, support it, and champion it. Even if it is not what we might expect it will be up to us to help make it what we want it to be. I have high hopes for it but don't want to judge this fledgling venture right out of the gate. Even the great Union Square Greenmarket started with just a few producers in one section of the park.
The point is, we have to start somewhere and that somewhere is at Lexington Park on East Genesee Street between Columbus and Lexington.