As Published in the Democrat and Chronicle’s Young Professionals’ Blog
Imagine live blues tunes echoing betwixt Downtown Rochester’s edifices, the scent of honey roasted nuts intoxicating pedestrians with every summer breeze, and all wrapped into the scenic atmosphere of a public park. Now, imagine this happening on a weekly basis, from 11 am to 2 pm, at the heart of Rochester, NY.
For nine years, this scene has been more than a phantasm. Yesterday afternoon, Foodlink kicked off its 9th annual Washington Square Park farmers’ market, which is sponsored by Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield and ESL Credit Union. From Xerox and Excellus employees to bikers and area college students, the market commenced with an impressive first day turnout. Vendors from Lagoner Farms, Florida Nut House and Special Touch Bakery offered an array of locally produced comfort foods to Rochester residents. Add a touch of smooth sets from local blues band Danny and the Rebel Rockers and you have yourself an unrivaled shopping experience.
Foodlink’s Washington Square Park farmers’ market is a part of a large trend across the nation. With a 150 percent increase since 2000, there are currently 7,000 farmers’ markets offering fresh local foods nationwide. The vast majority of the 7,000 markets accept EBT cards, or food stamps, so that those who face low food security can have quick and easy access to fresh foods. In addition to making healthy foods more accessible, the markets also support local farmers.