SCRANTON — Many social service agencies in our area had their budgets slashed this year. So, many summer services and programs had to be cut. However, one agency’s annual farmers’ market in Scranton is still thriving.
Linda Walker plans to set up her craft tent every Saturday at Scranton’s Iron Furnaces, the gateway to the city’s south side, where Walker has lived most of her life.
“I sell these things, I don’t charge a fortune for them. But, it’s nice for people to get out and do something and just say ‘Hi, how are you doing?” said Walker.
“This is the first time we’re ever trying a farmers’ market, we wanted to do something a little different,” said Tim Betti, a vendor.
The South Side Farmers’ Market is part of what’s called the “Elm Street Project”, meant to revitalize south Scranton. This farmers’ market is unique because it’s free for vendors to set up. Organizers said the goal is just to bring the community together and help local farmers sell their product.
“The community benefits from this because it gets the community here to south side, to see all the revitalization work that is happening, and it really shares what the community is all about,” said Jill Murrin, an organizer.
The South Side Farmers’ Market is put on by the United Neighborhood Centers in Scranton, which this year suffered severe budget cuts at the state level. Organizers said so many volunteers are willing to help that they hope to hold the farmers’ market for many years to come.
“I think in the next few years after the Elm Street Project is over, we have so many volunteers that someone will pick this up and continue the South Side Farmers’ Market,” added Murrin.
The Scranton Iron Furnaces on Cedar Avenue will host the South Side Farmers’ Market every Saturday through October.