Rain, snow or shine…farmers and vendors — and their customers — in the greater Baltimore area know Saturday is Market Day in Waverly.
The 32nd Street Farmers Market transforms the parking lot, every week, on the corner of 32nd and Barclay Street. It’s a vital connection for growers and producers to sell their fresh fruit and vegetables, to-go meals, condiments/ferments, juices, teas, wine and spirits as well as hand-crafted items at this central Baltimore location. And their customers—many now second- and even third-generation, like the farmers—are intensely loyal to long-standing traditions.
Newcomers to this 42-year-old neighborhood Market may not realize just how extensive the offerings are, even in the Winter season (November through the first Saturday in June). Eggs, dairy, and cheeses are always available, as are fish and meats (fresh and frozen). Local fruits, vegetables, and greens (some from hot houses, or, origin-labeled if not grown nearby). Several bakeries display pastries, breads, pies, and cookies; other vendors have olives and mushrooms and pickles and spices and coffee, too, of course.
Summer Market begins this year, June 11, and runs until the Saturday before Thanksgiving with 65+ stands. Summer vendors must be bona fide growers, raisers, or producers of their fruits/vegetables, artisan food items, and wares; many offer organic or sustainably-grown items. Executive Director Beau Z. Brendt reports that a record number of applications for the summer market have been received; the Board will balance returning favorites with local newcomers (Waverly and District 14 encouraged!) and weekly guest vendors.
Besides food and beverage booths the Market keeps several community spaces available for local non-profits and entrepreneurs to promote their works/wares (you can request dates at firstname.lastname@example.org), politicians make campaign stops, and musicians respectfully perform. There are seasonal and Farmers Market events, including “Waverly Welcomes Spring” (this year, it’s April 30); National Farmers Market week (August); and a giant pumpkin weight-guessing contest (October). On April 16th children and parents can enjoy a free ceramics-painting event led by our local ceramic vendor, JoAnn. Look for the orange Market tent in Waverly Commons.
Shoppers at the Market who receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) benefits will receive matching funds to extend their buying power throughout the Market. It’s a win-win program for people on a limited food budget. They receive a five-dollar match which can provide an extra meal or more each week. People eat healthier food, and farmers and producers appreciate additional purchases and supporting the local economy. These incentives, and credit/debit tokens are available at the Market Manager Booth.
At this centrally located booth, customers can also inquire about the availability of seasonal produce, upcoming events and guest vendors. This is where people can learn about job opportunities, both for the Market and with seasonal vendors. Visitors can become a member which is a $20 fee per year (first-timers get a free t-shirt or tote bag). Martha Lucius, Board President of 32nd Street Market says, “This market is vibrant, social and an economic hub for neighbors, city and county residents, farmers and purveyors. If there is one thing I’d love to see this year it’s more active and helpful volunteers, and members.” Want to participate? Reach out via email email@example.com
See the website (www.32ndstreetmarket.org) or follow its updates on Facebook and Instagram (32ndstreetfarmersmarket). Take the bus, ride a bike (bike stands are available), or park in the adjacent (free) lot. On Saturday mornings, it’s the place to be!
Waverly Welcomes Spring!