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Seasonal Growth: Eastside Neighborhood

He explained that he and his wife were part of an Eat Local Tour of 30 Farmers' Markets, which he says he strongly supports, "The closer you are to your food, the safer you are."

Fire Captain Martin Reed of local Fire House Station 10 bought two bags full of fresh produce and preserves and spoke of his hopes for a flourishing market, "This is my way of supporting [the market]. No better way to support it then to bring money to it. It'd be nice to get more vendors. I'd like to see this thing get bigger."

Initially farmer's feared the hood

Deb spoke of her and her husband's initial reluctance to vend at the market when first asked by Auwaerter three years ago, because of the perpetuated myth among community outsiders and the media that the neighborhood was unsafe.

"This part of town was really bad according to the newspapers, but it's just not true. {Q}I've never been a minority before and I was really nervous coming in, but now I don't feel any different from anybody else here. It's very friendly. We like the people here and they seem to like us," she said.{Q}

Deb said the other farmers she knew were afraid to vend in the market and that even her children expressed concern, "All the other people I do markets with said, 'you're crazy.' One offered me a cemetery plot; and my kids still ask, 'how's your will, Mom?' That's the stigma, and I think it's totally unfair."

It's about greens, too

Recounting a humorous story regarding "greens," Deb said that when she began at the market people continually requested, "greens." She and Jim came with an arsenal of lettuce varieties. As they bonded with the local community they came to understand that "greens" meant, principally, collard greens. So she and Jim started growing collard and turnip greens. Now both abound, and at one dollar a bunch, are a market staple and favorite.

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