Local and fresh on Front Street

Farm to City farmers’ market crops up under the El for first season

To market, to market: River Wards residents gather at the North Front Street Farmers’ Market on a recent Sunday. MELISSA KOMAR / STAR PHOTO

By Melissa Komar

Looking to harvest a haul of local fruits and veggies, satisfy your sweet tooth, and wash it all down with libations barrel-aged a mile away all in one stop?

Farm to City has you covered.

The Philadelphia-based business behind the large-scale Rittenhouse farmers’ market and the defunct Powers Park farmers’ market started the North Front Street Farmers’ Market this spring and, every Sunday, more than a dozen vendors have their specialities ready for purchase (and eating).

According to Jon Glyn, program manager at Farm to City, bringing a market to the area where Fishtown and Kensington collide has been on the radar for some time.

“Farm to City has been eager to open up more farmers’ markets in North Philly,” he said. “We feel very lucky to have a number of community organizations as partners for this location: the Fishtown Co, the South Kensington Community Partners and the North Kensington CDC, just to name a few. With their help, we had access to a good location at the intersection of North Front Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.”

Paul Kimport, longtime Fishtown business owner and president of Fishtown Co, was one of the earliest and most enthusiastic supporters of the farmers’ market.

“I have a great appreciation for [Farm to City’s] focus on supporting farmers through neighborhood markets,” he said. “I personally felt strongly that Farm to City would be a good organizational fit for our hope to create a very dynamic market that will strive to reflect the community. As president of the business association, I pressed my enthusiasm for Farm to City and also the Front Street and Cecil B. Moore location.”

The location is an intersection of sorts into three distinct communities: Fishtown, South Kensington and Norris Square, according to Kimport.

“I think this particular location has dynamism, in that it can help connect three different self-defining neighboring communities, i.e. Fishtown, South Kensington and Norris Square,” he said. “I think each of these communities can contribute a lot to help make the market a very special place.”

Bringing these communities together through food is one of the main reasons Farm to City got into the business of farmers’ markets.

“Farm to City wants to unite communities, families and farmers through good and locally grown food,” Glyn said. “During their best moments, our farmers’ markets are a bridge between this region’s urban and rural communities.”

All producers must have a local connection to agriculture to become a vendor.

“We want all the food here to have their roots in this region’s farmland,” Glyn said.

Careful consideration during vendor selection all leads back to Farm to City’s mission.

“At the market, you can meet the people who grow and make the food that nourishes yourself, your friends and your families,” Glyn said.

North Front Street Farmers’ Market operates every Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Front Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue until Nov. 18. Regular participating producers include Aurora Grace Chocolates and Bakery, Be Well Blooms, Gail’s Egg and Midnite Mushrooms, Greensgrow, Good Spoon Foods, Foolish Waffles, Ironstone Creamery, Kimberton CSA, Lost Bread Co., Red Brick Craft Distillery, Simply Good Jars and The Raw Spa. Other vendors will rotate on a weekly basis, including Deer Creek Malthouse, Evil Genius Beer Company and Kurant Cider. For updates on the North Front Street Farmers’ Market, follow @northfrontfm on Instagram.