Wilmington is bursting with outdoor markets where you can find the best in seasonal local produce. It’s time to shop.
(page 1 of 2)
Looking for fresh, fresh produce? With a variety of farm markets—and an actual farm—Wilmington is the place to find it.
Stroll tree-lined Bancroft Parkway on a Saturday, or wander through historic Rodney Square. You’ll find local produce in abundance—and some surprises.
“You can even bring in any bladed tool you own and have it sharpened professionally,” says Jacquie Kimball, master of the Little Italy Neighborhood Association Farmers Market.
But first, a step back…
Christopher Moore believes there had been a need for fresh produce in Wilmington, a city of nearly 75,000 residents with only four supermarkets. So Moore, the healthy lifestyle coordinator for the Christiana Care health system, set about the dual task of merging city dwellers looking to eat healthier with conveniently located sites that provided fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables.
“Under our Camp Fresh initiative, we conducted a survey of local residents and then made recommendations to city council on ways to improve access to fresh produce in the city,” says Moore.
Camp Fresh currently operates three fresh produce markets in Wilmington. One is on the Wilmington Hospital campus, another at Howard High School and a third in partnership with Delaware Center for Horticulture’s award-winning urban farm at 12th and Brandywine streets. Camp Fresh involves high school youths in the operation to instill healthy eating habits among the city’s young people.
But Camp Fresh is only a part of the city’s expanding access to fresh fruits and vegetables. A tree may grow in Brooklyn, but an actual farm has sprouted in Wilmington.
“We worked with the 11th Street Bridge community after its civic association president had approached us to help them get a community garden started,” says DCH’s community gardens manager Ann Mattingly. “It took three years, but we eventually secured the parcels of lots necessary to begin laying the groundwork for what would become Delaware’s first working urban farm.”
The ½-acre parcel is divided in half: one half a raised-bed community garden tended by 18 local families, the other a working produce farm. Farmer Alice Davis manages the farm along with volunteers and an intern.
“The farm uses raised beds to grow our crops in ideal soil conditions,” Davis says, adding that Wilmington’s history of industrial pollution makes using native soil an iffy and expensive proposition. “Rather than spend money on expensive soil testing and mitigation, we plowed it into building raised beds for growing.”
Page 2: Super Fresh, continues...