BY: Nichelle Brunner
Despite a day of off-and-on rain and sunshine Thursday afternoon, Temple University students and Philadelphia residents alike gathered outside on Cecil B. Moore Avenue, between Broad and 13th Streets, to buy an assortment of fresh items from the Farmers Market. The market is held every Thursday afternoon from two p.m. to six p.m. through mid-November. They accept almost every form of payment, including WIC, EBT cards, and Philly Food Bucks coupons.
At the market, there is an array of fruits and vegetables, ranging from cabbage, kale, onions, and eggplants. There are also an array of desserts, such as sticky buns and oatmeal peanut butter cookies, for those who have a sweet tooth. Most of the produce does not go for more than three dollars and the desserts range from one to three dollars. All of the food is locally grown at a farm located in Honeybrook in Chester County, which is about 50 miles west from Philadelphia. The market also believes in very healthy agriculture. “We use organic practices, even though we’re not certified. We strongly believe in building a healthy soul, which in result, is a healthy crop,” said owner of the market, Emanuel Stoltzfus.
Stoltzfus is relatively new to farmer’s markets, but he has always been involved in farming. “I was born and raised on a farm, so my whole background is in the farming industry. When we started back in 1984, we had a dairy farm, and we sold our dairy five years ago. We kept the dairy farm, but then we started doing fruit and vegetable farming, and that’s when we started getting into this.” Stoltzfus’ farmer’s market is operated through The Food Trust and the Office of Community Relations, which has over 20 different farmer’s markets in the region, and began operating in 1992. The Food Trust works to provide residents with healthy and fresh options and directly affects over 100,000 customers each year.
“Temple students are definitely our main customers,” said Stoltzfus. “I would say about 30 percent of customers are locals and the other 70 percent are Temple students.” This is the perfect alternative for students who are vegan/vegetarian, students who are tired of the slim options of produce on campus, or those who just want to eat healthy. The sellers even offer tips for preparing produce, keeping it fresh, and other healthy food options in the city. So, head on down to Cecil B. Moore on Thursdays to indulge in healthy, fresh options. The market has close proximity, and not only is it good for your body, but it also makes an impact on the community.