SDFM outlines goals for coming year

Dec. 28, 2013 @ 09:49 AM

During the quiet days after the hullabaloo of the holidays, as we stand at the threshold of the New Year, we take a moment to reflect upon both the achievements of the past year and the deeds we hope to accomplish in 2014. 

Though only in its second season, the South Durham Farmers’ Market has accomplished quite a lot, firmly rooting itself in the community.  In 2013, our number of vendors has grown, as has our selection of local foods, and soon we will have food trucks at the market, too. 

As the relatively new market manager -- I joined the farmers’ market in the beginning of July -- each month has brought new learning opportunities, and I am looking forward to working with greater wisdom next year.

With the indispensable help from the market’s board of directors and our enthusiastic community volunteers, I hope to see the South Durham Farmers’ Market continue to grow and expand its role in the local food economy.

Like many a New Year’s article, this will finish with a listicle, a list of goals for the South Durham Farmers’ Market to accomplish in 2014.

1. Increase community food access. Our market was approved as a SNAP/EBT retailer this past year, and we plan to begin accepting SNAP/EBT at the opening of our 2014-2015 Market Season in the beginning of April. I have been pleasantly surprised by the immediate response from local organizations to help us make the program as successful as possible in making nutritious foods accessible and affordable for all.

2. Expand children’s educational programming. We offer occasional crafts and games for children to learn about new vegetables and farming, but our goal is to have a kid’s corner in the market with regularly scheduled activities that teach kids about healthy eating and the importance of sustainable agriculture.

3. Make more local connections. Talented chefs and the almost year-round availability of local, fresh foods are a huge part of Durham’s revitalization and its relatively new reputation as a destination food city. We hope to better integrate the market with the rest of the local food scene – bringing more locally conscious chefs to market, whether they cook out of a brick-and-mortar establishment or a food truck.

There are certainly a dozen other market improvement projects awaiting our attention, but I am confident that the market will continue to set and meet new resolutions in each of the coming years.

We wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

Elizabeth Zander is market manager for the South Durham Farmers’ Market, which in winter is open 9 a.m. noon each Saturday at Greenwood Commons Shopping Center, 5410 NC Highway 55.