Farmer’s markets have long been the preeminent place to buy the freshest local produce, but in the last several years they are also becoming a creative way to address community needs. In addition to offering access to locally sourced food, spots like the Garfield Night Market, Lawrenceville farmer’s market, and East Liberty farmer’s market are helping to redefine the use of public space. With the addition of entertainment, family activities, and intentional social interaction, neighbors are coming to these marketplaces and finding more than just their week’s supply of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Bloomfield Development Corporation (BDC) created the Bloomfield Saturday Market in 2014 to improve the lives of community members by creating a neighborhood gathering place focusing on local food, local businesses, and accessible health and wellness education. In doing so, the visibility of Bloomfield to the greater Pittsburgh region has increased. The Market stimulates the local economy by providing a venue for promoting community business owners and incubating entrepreneurs, drawing in new customers, and attracting new and established businesses to Bloomfield.
On summer 2016’s opening day, June 4, the Bloomfield Saturday Market will launch weekly kid-friendly cooking demonstrations in partnership with Let’s Move Pittsburgh and 412 Food Rescue. To accommodate families of all kinds with little ones, a dedicated children’s space has been added to the market and will feature nutrition-themed games and activities.
Continuing the partnership formed in 2015, Just Harvest and BDC will again provide a $2 match on every $5 spent to SNAP benefit users. With the support and work of Allegheny Health Network/West Penn Hospital, the Market continues to offer free health screenings, accessibility features such as level-entry toilets, tables and seating. Continuing programming includes fitness classes and demonstrations, and a host of information offerings from partnering nonprofit and community organizations, and free weekly concerts.
The Market is held every Saturday from June 4-November 5 at 5050 Liberty Avenue, 15224.