Project for Public Spaces Highlights Innovations in Farmers Markets Around the Country

New York, NY October 27, 2005 – Project for Public Spaces, Inc. (PPS) published 14 profiles on innovative farmers markets from around the U.S. on a new part of their website: Farmers Market Profiles. As farmers markets continue their exponential growth – from 1,755 in 1994 to over 4,000 in 2005 – many are looking for new ways to broaden their impacts on the communities they serve. With support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and as a complement to its ongoing public markets funding initiative (which is also supported by the Ford Foundation), PPS researched farmers markets that are forging partnerships and developing projects around health and nutrition, urban agriculture, local and immigrant farmers, and smart growth.

From small town farm stands to big city farmers markets, the markets profiles here are extremely diverse. They range from established, thirty-year-old efforts to start-ups that have been open for only one or two seasons; from markets with over 200 vendors and long waiting lists to sell at the market to those with fewer than ten growers. What these markets share, though, are creative approaches and partnerships that are helping them bridge the urban/rural divide, increase access to fresh, affordable local foods, improve health and nutrition, support family farmers, and cultivate a sense of place in town and city centers. PPS looks forward to seeing how these programs develop in the future.

The featured farmers markets are:

  • Hopi Reservation Farmers Market, Palacca, AZ
  • Downtown Farmers Market, Des Moines, IA
  • Cotton Mills Farmers Market, Carrollton, GA
  • Minnetrista Farmers Market, Muncie, IN
  • The Lexington Farmers Market, Lexington, MA
  • The People’s Grocery, West Oakland, CA
  • Espanola Farmers Market, Espanola, NM
  • The Holyoke Farmers Market, Holyoke, MA
  • Montgomery Women’s Market, Bethesda, MD
  • Seeds of Hope, South Carolina
  • Kaiser Permanente Farmers Markets, CA, CO, OR, GA, HI, DC
  • Austin Farmers Market, Austin, TX
  • East New York Farms!, Brooklyn, NY
  • Lindsay Public Market, Lindsay, CA

These profiles are intended to inform applicants for PPS’s latest Request for Pre-proposals, Diversifying Public Markets & Farmers Markets, which was released on October 17, 2005. PPS will choose from hundreds of applicants to regrant approximately $1 million in collaborative funding from the Ford Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support public markets and farmers markets.

The launch of the profiles also coincides with “Great Market, Great Cities,” PPS’s 6th International Public Markets Conference in Washington, DC, October 28-October 31, 2005.

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Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a non-profit organization founded in 1975 dedicated to creating and sustaining places that build community. We provide technical assistance, education, and research through programs in parks, plazas and central squares; buildings and civic architecture; transportation; and public markets. PPS has worked with communities in 48 states and in 20 countries around the world.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 “to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations.” Its programming activities center around the common vision of a world in which each person has a sense of worth; accepts responsibility for self, family, community, and societal well-being; and has the capacity to be productive, and to help create nurturing families, responsive institutions, and healthy communities.

To achieve the greatest impact, the Foundation targets its grants toward specific areas. These include: health; food systems and rural development; youth and education; and philanthropy and volunteerism. Within these areas, attention is given to exploring learning opportunities in leadership; information and communication technology; capitalizing on diversity; and social and economic community development. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.

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